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University of California Berkeley 



Regional Oral History Office University of California 

The Bancroft Library Berkeley, California 

California Jewish Community Series 



Robert J. Koshland 
VOLUNTEER COMMUNITY SERVICE IN HEALTH AND WELFARE 



With Introductions by 

Maurice B. Hexter 

Martin A. Paley 



An Interview Conducted by 
Elaine Dorfman 
in 1980, 1981 



Copy No. 



Copyright (c) 1983 by the Regents of the University of California and 
the Trustees of the Judah L. Magnes Memorial Museum 



This manuscript is made available for research 
purposes. All literary rights in the manuscript, 
including the right to publish, are reserved to The 
Bancroft Library of the University of California at 
Berkeley and the Judah L. Magnes Memorial Museum. 
No part of the manuscript may be quoted for publica 
tion without the written permission of the Director 
of The Bancroft Library of the University of California 
at Berkeley. 

Requests for permission to quote for publication 
should be addressed to the Regional Oral History Office, 
486 Library, and should include identification of the 
specific passages to be quoted, anticipated use of the 
passages, and identification of the user. 

It is recommended that this oral history be cited 
as follows : 

Robert J. Koshland, "Volunteer Community Service 
in Health and Welfare," an oral history conducted 
1980-1982 by Elaine Dorfman, Regional Oral History 
Office, The Bancroft Library, University of 
California, Berkeley, 1983. 




ROBERT J. KOSHLAND 



THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA JEWISH BULLETIN 
November 24, 1989 



Community leader Robert J. Koshland 

dies at age 96 



Robert J. Koshland's feelings 
about Jews were rather straightfor 
ward. 

"As long as they insist on surviv 
ing, they are going to survive for 
generations to come. But it takes a 
lot of activity, lots of organization 
and dedication," he said in 1981 dur 
ing an interview for Robert ]. 
Koshland: Volunteer Community Ser- 
yice in Health and Welfare, part of the 
Bancroft Library's oral history pro 
jects. 

Koshland, descendant of a pioneer 
Jewish family, who died Nov. 11 at 
the age of 96, himself was an exam 
ple of being a heavy contributor in 
the Jewish community and in the 
community at large. 

Although he noted in his inter 
view that he may have "taken the 
unpopular course" by not affiliating 
with a synagogue, he insisted "I am 
proud to be a Jew." 

He continued: "I'm not apologetic 
about that at all. I have participated 
ever since I got out of school in Jew 
ish philanthropic activities." 

Throughout his life, Koshland, 
whose family helped run Levi 
Strauss & Co. for many years, was 
active in various Jewish organiza 
tions. His contributions date back to 
1922, when he was a member of the 
board of the Associated Jewish Phi 
lanthropies in Boston, where he was 
a partner with J. Koshland & Co., 
wool merchants. 

After returning to his native San 




Robert J. Koshland 

Francisco, he continued his activities 
with the Jewish community. He 
served, for example, as president of 
the Federation of Jewish Charities 
from 1938 to 1940; as president of the 
Western states region of the Council 
of Jewish Federations and Welfare 
Funds from 1939 to 1941; on the 
board of directors of the Jewish Wel 
fare Fund from 1946 to 1955, a fore 
runner of today's S.F.-based Jewish 
Community Federation; as vice pres 



ident of the National Council of Jew 
ish Federations and Welfare Funds 
from 1946 to 1955; and on the board 
of the Jewish Home for the Aged 
from 1956 to 1963. 

He also served as president of the 
Beresford County Club, which was 
once a Jewish club and is now the 
Peninsula Golf and Country Club, 
from 1937 to 1939. 

For three decades, Koshland was 
active in the planning, development 
and provision of medical facilities in 
the Bay Area. As president of the 
Peninsula Hospital District, he was 
instrumental in the formation and 
construction of Peninsula Hospital. 
He also served as president of the 
Bay Area Health Facilities Planning 
Commission and the Association of 
California Hospital Districts, and 
was a member of the board of Pres 
byterian Hospital and Medical Cen 
ter. 

He served as president of the Bay 
Area Welfare Planning Association, 
and was active with the Bay Area So 
cial Planning Council and Commu 
nity Chest of San Mateo County, and 
a member of the distribution com 
mittee of the Peninsula Community 
Foundation. In recent years, he 
served on the advisory council of the 
California Commission on Aging 
and the San Mateo Commission on 
Aging- 
He set "a very fine example" for 
his family, said his daughter, Susan 
Thede. "He was a marvelous man 
and we all admired him." 

In addition to his daughter, 
Koshland is survived by his wife of 
69 years, Delphine; his other daugh 
ter, Peggy Arnold; his daughter-in- 
law, Mabel Koshland, who was mar 
ried to his late son, Robert M. 
Koshland; and nine grandchildren 
and 10 great-grandchildren. 
Funeral services were private. 



SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE 
November 14, 1989 

Robert J. Koshland 

Private services for Robert J. 
Koshland of San Mateo, for many 
years a Bay Area community leader 
and medical facilities planner, will- 
be held Thursday. 

Mr. Koshland, a member of a 
prominent San Francisco family 
that helped run Levi Strauss & Co. 
for many years, died Saturday at a 
rest home in San Mateo. He was 96. 

Mr. Koshland was active for 
more than three decades in the 
planning and development of medi 
cal facilities in the Bay Area. 

He was instrumental in the 
building of Peninsula Hospital in 
Burlingame when he was president 
of the Peninsula Hospital District. 
At other times, he was president of 
the Bay Area Health Facilities Plan 
ning Commission and the Associa 
tion of California Hospital Districts. 
Mr. Koshland also was a member of 
the board of trustees of the Pacific 
Presbyterian Medical Center. 

Over the years, Mr. Koshland 
also served numerous Bay Area wel 
fare and social agencies. He was 
president of the Bay Area Welfare 
Planning Association and a member 
of the executive committees of the 
Bay Area Social Planning Council 
and the Community Chest of San 
Mateo County. He was a head of the 
Jewish Welfare Fund, a member of 
the board of directors of the Jewish 
Home for the Aged and a member 
of the distribution committee of the 
Peninsula Community Foundation. 

Mr. Koshland, a native of San 
Francisco, was a graduate of Lowell 
High School and the University of 
California at Berkeley. He served in 
World War I as an Army captain 
and in World War II as an Army Air 
Forces colonel in China. 

He is survived by his wife, Del- 
phine, of San Mateo; two daughters, 
Peggy Arnold of Palo Alto and Su 
san Thede of Menlo Park, and by 
nine grandchildren and 10 great 
grandchildren. 



ERRATA 



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For 

Columbia River 

Card du Nord 

Havres 

fish and cod 

S. Sprinkle 

S.J. Koshland & Company 

Depot Bridgade 

the 10 percent of the 

poorest soldiers of the 

outfit and you've got 

80 percent not identified 

as being the top or the 

bottom. 

Yantang 

General Robin Hood 

China Air Service 

unit 

air force was top heavy 

September 

these seventy- five guns 

came back to Washington 

place 

VJ-Day, October 3, 1945 

tried 

formal 

Carl B. Huntington 

board of directors of 

this group 

Cambriano 

California Council for 

Social Work 

Dunn 

Dunn 

run of and by 

Mt. Zion Council 

He showed 

compliment 

martyrs 

American Medical Association 

legislation 

the sons and daughters 

great-grandson 

Mrs. Wise 



278, line 9 



Read 

Columbia River area 

Gare du Nord 

Havre 

beans and cod 

Les Sprinkle 

S. Koshland & Company 

Depot Brigade 

10 percent of the company 

will be top soldiers and 

another 10 percent will be 

poor soldiers. The remaining 

80 percent will not be 

conspicuous. 

Yangtong 

General Hood 

China Air Service Command 

units 

air service group was top heavy 

September 1943 

these famous French seventy-fi 1T es 

came back from Washington 

palace 

VJ-Day, September 2, 1945 

try 

former 

Collier P. Huntington 

committee 

Cambiano 

California Conference for 

Social Work 

Dean 

Dean 

run by 

Mt. Zion Hospital 

We showed 

complement 

planners 

American Hospital Association 

organization 
the daughters 
grandson 
Mrs . Rosenf eld 

Ian Robert Arnold, great grandson 
born 6/30/83 

Bradley Favreau, great grandson 
born 3/7/83 



TABLE OF CONTENTS Robert Koshland 



PREFACE 

INTRODUCTION by Maurice B. Hexter il 

INTRODUCTION by Martin A. Paley vii 

INTERVIEW HISTORY ix 

PROFILE xi 

I FAMILY, CHILDHOOD, AND EARLY INFLUENCES 1 

Grandfather Simon Koshland 4 

Parents' Activities and Influence 6 

Childhood 7 

Family Religious and Cultural Orientation 13 

Sunday School at Temple Emanu-El 14 

Attitude Toward Polish Jews 14 

An Important Change in The Federation 15 

The Issue of Intermarriage 16 

A Viewpoint on Jewish Nostalgia 17 

Gift of an Ark to Temple Emanu-El 18 

A Position on Temple Membership 18 

Reflections on Grandfather Simon Koshland 19 

Family Travel in the Early Years 20 

Childhood in the Family Home 23 

The House, Gardens, and Staff 24 

The 1906 Earthquake and Fire 26 

Early San Francisco 29 

San Francisco Jews of Distinction 32 

Mother's Expectations 32 

Exclusion of Jews by Fraternities 33 

Lowell High School 36 

II THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY 38 

A Student Apartment House 40 

Professors of Influence 41 

Swim Team Activity 43 

Alumni Association Permanent Secretary, Class of 1914 45 

An Evaluation of Education 46 

III FOUNDING THE FAMILY WOOL BUSINESS, S. KOSHLAND AND COMPANY 48 

The Raw Wool Business 48 

A European Trip After College Graduation, 1914 50 

Apprenticeship in Lawrence, Massachusetts 52 
Wool Buying West of the Mississippi in 1916 for J. Koshland 

and Company 54 

Sealed Bids 56 

Covering Montana 58 



Partnership in the Firm 60 

Dissolution of J. Koshland and Company: Another View 61 

The Limits of Social Participation for Jews in Boston 64 

Swim Club and Activity in Boston, Massachusetts 65 

IV WORLD WAR I AND MILITARY SERVICE, 1916 69 

Infantry Second Lieutenant, 1917 69 

Plattsburgh Barracks, New York 70 

Infantry Captain 71 

Commanding Officer of a Company 72 

Expectations of Men: Dedication and Discipline 72 

The Importance of the Military in Peacetime 74 

The Value of Logic and Attention to Detail 75 

A Disappointing Stateside Assignment 78 

V RETURN TO THE FAMILY BUSINESS IN BOSTON 80 

Decision to Remain in Boston 80 

Meeting Delphine Rosenfeld 81 

VI MARRIAGE AND FAMILY 82 

Residence in Boston as a Married Man 83 

Birth of First Child, Robert, in Portland, Oregon, 1922 84 

Family Life and Travel with the Children 86 

Transition from Boston to San Francisco 90 

Vacations and Travel with the Family 92 

VII BUSINESS ACTIVITIES FROM 1930 TO 1943; 1948 TO 1952 94 

VIII WORLD WAR II: FURTHER MILITARY SERVICE 96 

From Infantry to Air Force 96 

Demotion in Exchange for a Return to Uniform 96 
Assignment to Air Depot Training Station, Albuquerque, 

New Mexico 98 

Command of the Twelfth Air Service Group 100 
Bombay and Calcutta, India, November, 1943: Over the Hump into 

Kunming, China, January, 1944 102 

Problems in Kweilin, China 105 

General Claire Channault 105 

The Chinese Army 105 

General and Madame Chiang Kai-shek 106 

Mission to Italy 108 

VJ-Day, October 3, 1945 111 

A Significant Introduction to Rabbi Alvin Fine 112 

Legion of Merit Award 114 

Recognition of Excellence in Kweilin, China 117 

Reunion of Fourteenth Air Force, Reno, Nevada, 1980 118 

General Chiang Kai-shek's Fear of Miscegenation 118 

Current Concerns on National Defense 119 

Few Women in China 123 

More on General Chiang Kai-shek 125 



IX DECADES OF PLANNING LEADERSHIP IN HEALTH, HOSPITAL AND SOCIAL 

WELFARE 127 

Family Tradition and Expectation 127 

Boy Scout Leadership, 1919-1920 129 
Associated Jewish Philanthropies, Boston, Massachusetts, 1922-1930 129 
San Mateo County Unemployment Relief Administration Chairman, 

1932-1934 131 

Issues 133 

California Council for Social Work 136 

Federation of Jewish Charities, 1938-1940, President 136 

Issues 137 

Western States Regional Council for Jewish Federations 

and Welfare Funds, 1939-1941 138 

Homewood Terrace and The Child Welfare League 141 

San Mateo County American Red Cross, Board of Directors, 1946-1950 142 

A Catalyst for Change 143 

Jewish Welfare Fund, San Francisco, Board of Directors, 1946-1955 143 

National Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, 

Vice President, 1946-1955 144 

X FOUNDING PENINSULA HOSPITAL DISTRICT, 1947 146 

Forming and Funding the District 146 

Peninsula Hospital's Program 148 

The Hospital Board 149 

Changing Community Needs 150 

XI ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTIONS AND CONVICTIONS 151 

Mt. Zion Hospital Study by Stanford Research Institute 151 

Peninsula Hospital and Current Concerns 152 

Jewish Home for the Aged, 1956-1963 153 

The Problem of Standards and Finances 154 

Establishing a Committee System 156 

A Strong Conviction on Boards of Directors of Social 

Agencies and Hospitals 157 

XII PRESBYTERIAN HOSPITAL, 1963 158 

The Development of a Committee System 158 

Hospital Administrators as Professionals 163 

Board of Directors: A Necessary Nuisance and Threat 163 

Selection of a Hospital Board of Directors 166 

A Study to Determine Needs of Presbyterian Hospital 168 

A Resignation as a Matter of Ethics 169 

Planning for All Interested Hospitals 170 

XIII THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY, SCHOOL OF PUBLIC 

HEALTH, GRADUATE PROGRAM, 1955-1962 172 



XIV CONTINUING SERVICE AND EXPERTISE IN HEALTH, SOCIAL WELFARE AND 

HOSPITAL PLANNING 174 

Association of California Hospital Districts, 1957-1959, President 175 

Bay Area Welfare Planning Federation, 1961-1964 176 

Bay Area Health Facilities Planning Association 179 

Enforcing Decisions 179 

Health Systems Agency, San Mateo, San Francisco and Marin Counties 181 

Bay Area Social Planning Council 182 

Distribution Committee of San Mateo Foundation 185 

Recommendation to Eliminate Jewish Welfare Federation 

Representation 187 

Part in Founding 187 

Seeking Publicity 190 

Northern California Presbyterian Homes 191 

Senior Citizen Concerns 191 

Conflict Due to a Violation 192 

San Mateo County Commission on Aging 194 

XV AN EXPERIENCE DURING THE POLICE STRIKE IN BOSTON, 

MASSACHUSETTS, 1919 196 

XVI FURTHER REFLECTIONS ON HOSPITAL PLANNING 199 

Association of California Hospital Districts 199" 

Legislative Advisory Committee 199 

A Legislative Victory 200 

Involving Professional Staff 201 

Earlier Administrative and Medical Abuses 202 

Added Thoughts on the Mt. Zion Hospital Study 203 

Advisory Council to State Commission on Aging, 1975-1977 204 

XVII ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIP 205 

University of California Alumni Council 205 

Peninsula Hospital and Medical Center Foundation Trustee 206 

Peninsula Golf and Country Club 207 

Beresford Country Club 207 

Concordia Argonaut Club 208 

Commonwealth Club of California 209 

An Attempt to Change the Bylaws 209 
University of California Alumni Association, Secretary of 

Class of 1914 212 

A Citation Awarded 212 

XVIII AN IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTION, SAN MATEO CHAPTER, AMERICAN RED CROSS 213 

A Plan for Disaster 213 

XIX PHILOSOPHY 215 

Thoughts on Recognition 215 

Rewards of Devotion to Community Work 216 

A Prolonged Disappointment 219 

Personal Philosophy 221 

Future of Judaism 222 

Values 223 



XX THE ROBERT J. KOSHLAND FAMILY 

Values and Expectations 

Changes in the Generations 233 

A Close and Enduring Relationship with Grandchildren 235 

The Future 237 

Thoughts on Being Remembered 

The Meaning of Being Jewish 239 

Anti-Semitism 240 

Survival of Judaism 240 

Pride in Being Jewish 241 

A Warm Relationship with Cousin, Edgar Sinton 242 

XXI DELPHINE ROSENFELD KOSHLAND 244 

TAPE GUIDE 247 

APPENDIX A Koshland (Koschland) Genealogy 248 

APPENDIX B Robert J. Koshland Family Information 277 

APPENDIX C "Guide For Planning A District Hospital" 279 

APPENDIX D "Meeting The Need For Hospital Beds" 290 

INDEX 303 



PREFACE 



The Northern California Jewish Community Series is a collection of oral 
history interviews with persons who have contributed significantly to Jewish 
life and to the wider secular community. Sponsored by the Western Jewish 
History Center of the Judah L. Magnes Memorial Museum, the interviews have 
been produced by the Regional Oral History Office of The Bancroft Library. 
Moses Rischin, professor of history at California State University at San 
Francisco, is advisor to the series, assisted by the Center's Advisory 
Committee, Norman Coliver, chairman, Harold M. Edelstein, Seymour Fromer, 
James M. Gerstley, Douglas E. Goldman, Professor James D. Hart, Louis H. 
Heilbron, Philip E. Lilienthal, Mrs. Leon Mandelson, Robert E. Sinton, Frank 
H. Sloss, Daniel Stone, and Mrs. Matt Wahrhaftig. The series was inaugurated 
in 1967. 

In the oral history process, the interviewer works closely with the memoirist 
in preliminary research and in setting up topics for discussion. The interviews 
are informal conversations which are tape recorded, transcribed, edited by 
the interviewer for continuity and clarity, checked and approved by the inter 
viewee, and then final-typed. The resulting manuscripts, indexed and bound, 
are deposited in the Jesse E. Colman Memorial Library of the Western Jewish 
History Center, The Bancroft Library, and the University Library at the Univer 
sity of California at Los Angeles. By special arrangement copies may be 
deposited in other manuscript repositories holding relevant collections. 
Related information may be found in earlier interviews with Lawrence Arnstein, 
Amy Steinhart Braden, Adrien J. Falk, Alice Gerstle Levison, Jennie Matyas, 
Walter Clay Lowdermilk, and Mrs. Simon J. Lubin. Untranscribed tapes of 
interviews with descendants of pioneer California Jews conducted by Professor 
Robert E. Levinson are on deposit at The Bancroft Library and the Western 
Jewish History Center. 

The Regional Oral History Office was established to tape record auto 
biographical interviews with persons prominent in recent California history. 
The Office is under the administrative supervision of Professor James D. 
Hart, the director of The Bancroft Library. 

Willa K. Baum 
Division Head 
Regional Oral History Office 

December 1982 

Regional Oral History Office 

486 The Bancroft Library 

University of California at Berkeley 



11 
CALIFORNIA JEWISH COMMUNITY INTERVIEW SERIES 



Kinder, Rose (Mrs. Reuben R.), Music, Prayer, and Religious Leadership; 
Temple Emanu-El , 1913-1969. 1971 

Koshland, Lucile Heming (Mrs. Daniel E. , Sr.), Citizen Participation 
in Government . 1970. 

Koshland, Daniel E. , Sr. , The Principle of Sharing. 1971. 

Hilborn, Walter S. , Reflections on_ Legal Practice and Jewish Community 
Leadership: New York and Los Angeles, 1907-1973. 1974. 

Magnin, Rabbi Edgar F. , Leader and Personality. 1975. 

Fleishhacker, Mortimer, and Janet Choynski (Mrs. Mortimer), Family, 
Business, and the San Francisco Community. 1975. 

Haas, Walter A., Sr. Civic, Philanthropic, and Business Leadership. 
1975. 

Haas, Elise Stern (Mrs. Walter, Sr.), The Appreciation of Quality. 
1975. In process. 

Salz , Helen Arnstein (Mrs. Ansley) , Sketches of An Improbable Ninety 
Years. 1975. 

Sinton, Edgar, Jewish and Community Service In San Francisco, A 
Family Tradition. 1978. 

Kuhn, Marshall H., Marshall H. Kuhn: Catalyst and Teacher; San Francisc 
Jewish and Community Leader, 1934-1978. 1978. 

Hirsch, Marcel, The Responsibilities and Rewards of Involvement, 1981 

Koshland, Robert J. , Volunteer Community Service n Health and 
Welfare, 1983 



Related information may be found in other Regional Oral History Office 
interviews: Lawrence Arnstein, Amy Steinhart Braden, Adrien J. Falk, 
Alice Gerstle Levison (Mrs. J.B.), Jennie Matyas, Walter Clay Lowdermil! 
Mrs. Simon J. Lubin, Harold L. Zellerbach; Bay Area Foundation History 
series; The Petaluma Jewish Community series (interviews conducted by 
Kenneth Kann) ; California Women Political Leaders series Ann Eliaser, 
Elinor Raas Heller, Carmen Warschaw, Rosalind Wyman; Dr. Rubin Lewis, 
(chest surgeon); James D. Hart (fine printing); Maynard Jocelyn (wine 
technology); Ruth Hart (volunteer leader). Untranscribed tapes of 
interviews with descendants of pioneer California Jews conducted by 
Professor Robert E. Levinson are on deposit in The Bancroft Library 
and the Western Jewish History Center. 



iii 



INTRODUCTION by Maurice B. Hexter 

* 

I assumed my duties as Executive Vice President of the Associated 
Jewish Philanthropies of Boston on July 1, 1919, after my predecessor, 
Morris D. Waldman, had finished hammering together with skill and zeal 
the various strains of communal interests which had developed since 1895 
when the first Jewish Federation in the United States had been created in 
Boston. The chaotic relationship which ensued was the result of a lack 
of leadership on the part of the "old settlers" and a proliferation of 
agencies and services organized by the later immigration who sensed their 
needs -much better and had not been made to feel at home by the older 
establishment. The urge to modernize this philanthropic "crazy-quilt" was 
led by Lewis E. Kirstein, A. W. Kaffenburg, Abraham Koshland (Bob's uncle), 
and Judge A. K. Cohen. They had induced my predecessor and me to help them 
realize their goals of a fully integrated and coordinated community. 

Mrs. Abraham Koshland (Tewsie to all who knew her) was Bob's favorite 
aunt. During that first summer she constantly urged me to coquet with 
her nephew Bob who was soon f.o be mustered out of the army where he had 
been both effective and gallant. She evidently had spoken well of me to Bob 
so that our abiding friendship was readily created and constantly deepened 
as I saw in Bob a zeal, dedication, analytical skill, and deep understanding 
of communal problems all resting on the axiom of "noblesse oblige" which 
he had absorbed from his father and his illustrious mother, who herself has 
left her imprints on so much cultural history of San Francisco. 



iv 



It was frightfully easy to hitch Bob's urges to the development of the 
Boston Jewish community. I could always count on his advice, guidance, and 
purse in the many labyrinths any professional communal servant faces . He 
was a leader amongst the "wool crowd" which was most important as a source 
of funds and Bob would nudge them by word and by example. Often he was alone 
in his support of unpopular causes. One instance is of historical importance. 
One of the unaffiliated institutions was a small nursing home Beth Israel 
Hospital. Some of the wealthy leaders of the later immigrant group decided 
to move to a new site and create a Jewish hospital. This was frowned upon 
by part of the older establishment as unwise and unnecessary and indeed risky 
in a city which was home to the Massachusetts General Hospital, Peter Bent 
Brigham and several more of equal stature. I favored the proposed move 
because in those days staff appointment for Jewish doctors was not as fully 
open as happily it is today. I shall always remember my lunch with Bob to 
seek his support fully explaining to him I was urging an unpopular act by 
him which would be sharply criticized by his business associates and 
commercial friends. With his accustomed generosity and independence he 
immediately responded with a generous gift, really the first of later 
significant gifts from the older community which gradually came around fully 
to support what has become one of the great Boston Hospitals, fully 
affiliated with the Harvard Medical School into whose neighborhood they 
had been wise enough and bold <=tiough to build their new project, knowing 
that geographical propinquity would be a constant challenge to high medical 
standards. I have always felt that Bob's early contact in this way with 
medical affairs led to and tinctured such a large part of his vast volunteer 



activities in this area after he "went home" to San Francisco, shortly 
after I left Boston to join the Executive of the newly established Jewish 
Agency in Jerusalem. 

I kept in touch with Bob from that city, truly on the other side of 
the world and watched with admiration his services to both the Jewish and 
the wider community, aided and abetted by Delphine who has meant so much 
to so many in a quiet and persistent manner. 

What has always struck me about him was the skillful way he manifested 
in a wholesome inquisitiveness of every general statement. He had a profound 
skepticism of most claims of accomplishment. Those days did not clamor with 
IBMs so that data were skimpy and scanty. That did not deter Bob's search 
for "truth to its uttermost depths." As with most of us there were times 
when head and heart did not run in team or in tandem; on those occasions Bob 
leaned 'on the side of heart. 

His relationship with professional communal and health workers was 
unique. He never felt inferior and humanist that he always was he could 
never feel superior. He sensed that this was a collaborative administrative 
operation where each had a unique place; he was never content to frame the 
law and permit others the luxury of making the definitions. He wanted to 
be a part of both. He knew how to differentiate between administrator 
(who was coordinate with him) and the expert. The latter to him was always 
to be on tap but not on top. 

In summary, Bob has been the ideal volunteer leader born to a glorious 
tradition to which he exceptionally responded. He has experienced sadness 
which enobled him and added to his commitment. He has touched the lives of 



vi 



his contemporaries very often but never tangentially . Life was too short 
for that type of relationship. As full as were his communal and family 
commitments he immediately dropped all to commit his talents for command 
to his country for World War II. What has always struck me and I have no 
answer to the problem. Why does one born to ease and comfort leave it to 
take part in a harassing task of communal services so full of barbs and 
always a thicket of thorns. When we know that answer we shall know what 
made Bob run. 



Maurice B. Hexter 



1 June 1982 



vii 
INTRODUCTION, by Martin A. Paley 

The intent of this introduction is to lightly sketch the 
nature of the man as I have come to know him and then step 
back and allow his exceptional qualities to shine through 
in the pages that follow. 

During our lifetimes, if we are fortunate, each of us will 
meet and develop relationships with a few people of wisdom 
and wit. Robert J. Koshland is, for me, one of those rare 
people. From my first encounter with Bob, and my close 
association beginning in early 1963, I found him to be a 
man of vigor, commitment, loyalty, compassion and humor. 

Even in my advancing years , I find the need to continue to 
defend my ideas and actions against his inquiring mind and 
demand for precision and practicality. 

Bob's knowledge and respect for history teaches many of us 
the importance of traditions in every day society. Bob is 
a man for whom patriotism is only slightly less important 
than devotion to family and community. His pace has been 
slowed just a bit at this writing, but he continues to 
project an image of one who walks spritely, swims regularly, 
drinks his Black Daniels neat, and insists on telling only 
mildly funny stories. He projects a courtly manner in an 
age when gallantry is considered almost passe. 

Bob's life is marked by uncommon modesty in the face of sub 
stantial personal achievement. He has a strong record of 



viii 



purposeful advocacy for cause and principle. Bob Koshland 
represents a model for civic leadership, having left his 
indelible mark of humanitarism on major institutions nation 
wide. 

He is at once complemented and gently contained by his 
lifetime companion, Delphine, an individual in and of herself 
possessed of charm and audacity. 



Martin A. Paley 



9/29/82 

Executive' Director 

San Francisco Foundation 

San Francisco, California 



ix 



INTERVIEW HISTORY 



Robert Koshland was selected for interview to provide a record of his 
lengthy and effective leadership role as a volunteer planner in health, 
hospital, and social welfare. Peninsula Hospital District is a consequence 
of his work as a founder and first president of the Peninsula Hospital 
District. As president of a broad range of other organizations including 
the Bay Area Health Facilities Planning Association (now the Health Systems 
Agency); Policy Advisory Committee, Northern California Presbyterian Homes; 
and the County Council of San Mateo County, he helped to guide important 
changes and development. As a member on many boards of directors such as 
Presbyterian Hospital, San Mateo County American Red Cross, Jewish Welfare 
Fund, San Francisco, Jewish Home for the Aged, and Services for Seniors, he 
influenced board and institutional decisions. 

Mr. Koshland tells of these civic activities as well as his work in 
J. Koshland and Company, the family wool business, of the family's role in 
Bay Area cultural and civic activities, and of his military career in 
World War I and World War II. 

In .preparation for this oral memoir, I spoke to a number of people. One 
of those was Mrs. Frances Koshland Geballe. When I called her, she said of 
her uncle, "He's a wonderful man!" She commented that he and her father, 
Daniel Koshland, were very close as adults, despite each having a different 
sense of humor. Her uncle is "more relaxed now" than in earlier days when he 
resembled his father, Marcus Koshland. "Uncle Bob is a detail person, a 
good general; a better general than a board member. He has a sense of values 
from his parents that he has carried on." 

Robert Koshland and I met for a planning meeting on November 6, 1980, 
and for eight subsequent interviews , each of one and one-half to two hours . 
Appointments were usually held in Mr. Koshland 's office in Embarcadero 
Center, Levi Strauss Building, at 10 A.M. At that time, he was spending 
two or three days of every week at his office. 

One session in April, 1981, took place at Peninsula Hospital in 
Burlingame where he was a patient following back surgery. At the conclusion 
of our work for that day, I mentioned the foresight required to provide the 
hospital's generous parking lot. Robert Koshland recalled the time when 
properties for a site purchase were being considered and he had remarked, 
"Buy acres, not lots." 

Mr. Koshland preferred to review the transcript with me in person. The 
all-day review session took place in the second floor sitting room of the 
Koshland Hillsborough home with a recess for lunch. We concluded at 4:30 P.M., 
halting only because of the Koshlands 's impending social engagement. 



viii 



purposeful advocacy for cause and principle. Bob Koshland 
represents a model for civic leadership, having left his 
indelible mark of humanitarism on major institutions nation 
wide. 

He is at once complemented and gently contained by his 
lifetime companion, Delphine, an individual in and of herself 
possessed of charm and audacity. 



Martin A. Paley 



9/29/82 

Executive' Director 

San Francisco Foundation 

San Francisco, California 



ix 



INTERVIEW HISTORY 



Robert Koshland was selected for interview to provide a record of his 
lengthy and effective leadership role as a volunteer planner in health, 
hospital, and social welfare. Peninsula Hospital District is a consequence 
of his work as a founder and first president of the Peninsula Hospital 
District. As president of a broad range of other organizations including 
the Bay Area Health Facilities Planning Association (now the Health Systems 
Agency); Policy Advisory Committee, Northern California Presbyterian Homes; 
and the County Council of San Mateo County, he helped to guide important 
changes and development. As a member on many boards of directors such as 
Presbyterian Hospital, San Mateo County American Red Cross, Jewish Welfare 
Fund, San Francisco, Jewish Home for the Aged, and Services for Seniors, he 
influenced board and institutional decisions. 

Mr. Koshland tells of these civic activities as well as his work in 
J. Koshland and Company, the family wool business, of the family's role in 
Bay Area cultural and civic activities, and of his military career in 
World War I and World War II. 

In. preparation for this oral memoir, I spoke to a number of people. One 
of those was Mrs. Frances Koshland Geballe. When I called her, she said of 
her uncle, "He's a wonderful man!" She commented that he and her father, 
Daniel Koshland, were very close as adults, despite each having a different 
sense of humor. Her uncle is "more relaxed now" than in earlier days when he 
resembled his father, Marcus Koshland. "Uncle Bob is a detail person, a 
good general; a better general than a board member. He has a sense of values 
from his parents that he has carried on." 

Robert Koshland and I met for a planning meeting on November 6, 1980, 
and for eight subsequent interviews, each of one and one-half to two hours. 
Appointments were usually held in Mr. Koshland 's office in Embarcadero 
Center, Levi Strauss Building, at 10 A.M. At that time, he was spending 
two or three days of every week at his office. 

One session in April, 1981, took place at Peninsula Hospital in 
Burlingame where he was a patient following back surgery. At the conclusion 
of our work for that day, I mentioned the foresight required to provide the 
hospital's generous parking lot. Robert Koshland recalled the time when 
properties for a site purchase were being considered and he had remarked, 
"Buy acres, not lots." 

Mr. Koshland preferred to review the transcript with me in person. The 
all-day review session took place in the second floor sitting room of the 
Koshland Hillsborough home with a recess for lunch. We concluded at 4:30 P.M., 
halting only because of the Koshlands 's impending social engagement. 



A final interview on June 1, 1981, in the Koshland home, followed when 
it was decided to cover additional material of importance. Although erect 
and military in presence, Robert Koshland 's impeccable manner was gracious, 
often lightened with gentle humor. 

Throughout the memoir it had been my concern that the narrator's modesty 
not be a limiting factor. It became clear that his apparent reluctance to 
offer information about his role in various organizations was his concern for 
telling only what he could recall with complete accuracy. 

I spoke briefly with his wife, Delphine Rosenfeld Koshland, a regal 
woman with bright blue eyes, for this memoir on June 25, 1981. She is a 
woman with a full calendar that includes family, golf, and volunteer 
commitments. Frances Koshland Geballe had observed, "Delphine and Robert 
Koshland have a wonderful marriage." 

Martin A. Paley, executive director of the San Francisco Foundation, and 
Maurice Hexter, former executive vice president of the Associated Jewish 
Philanthropies in Boston, accepted invitations to write introductions to 
this memoir. Each was chosen because he had worked closely with Mr. Koshland 
and because each had developed a relationship with him spanning decades. 
Their work in completing this demanding task is appreciated. 

On September 7, 1982, I saw Robert Koshland in his new office in the 
Levi Strauss Plaza. At this meeting, Mr. Koshland provided family material 
as well as photographs for use in the memoir. As *we said goodbye, Mr. 
Koshland said, "You are welcome here at anytime." 



Elaine Dorfman 
Interviewer-Editor 



December 1982 

Regional Oral History Office 

486 The Bancroft Library 

University of California at Berkeley 



xi 



Profile of 
ROBERT J. KOSHLAND 
217 West Santa Inez Avenue 
Hillsborough, Ca. 94010 



Born in San Francisco, April 30, 1893. 

Graduated from Pacific Heights Grammar School, San Francisco, 1906. 

Graduated from Lowell High School, San Francisco, 1910. 

Graduated from University of California (Berkeley) 1914 Degree B.S, 



Married Delphine Rosenfeld, Portland, Oregon, December 8, 1920. 

Children: Robert M. Koshland, former resident of Lafayette, Ca. 
Margaret K. Arnold, resident of Palo Alto, California 
Susan K. Thede, resident of Menlo Park, California 



(Deceased) 



Grandchildren: 9 

Partner, J. Koshland & Co . , Boston, and S. Koshland & Co., San Francisco 

Wool Merchants 1914 - 1930. 

Limited Partner, Stone & Youngberg (Investment business) , San Francisco 
Captain, Infantry - World War I 
Market Realty Corp., Vice President, 1943 
Colonel, U.S. Army Air Forces - World War II (Awarded Legion of Merit) 

Scout Master and Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Boy Scouts, Boston 
Board of Directors, Associated Jewish Philanthropies, Boston 
Chairman, San Mateo County Unemployment Relief Administration 
Junior Vice Commander- in-Chief , Military Order of the World War 
Board of Directors, California Conference for Social Welfare 
President, Federation of Jewish Charities, San Francisco 
President, Western States Region, Council of Jewish Federations 

and Welfare Funds 

Board of Directors, San Mateo County American Red Cross 
Board of Directors, Jewish Welfare Fund, ^an Francisco 

Vice President, National Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds 
President, Peninsula Hospital District 

Board of Directors, Community Chest of San Mateo County 
Board of Directors, Jewish Home for the Aged 
President, Association of California Hospital Districts 
Board of Directors, Community Council of San Mateo County 
President, Bay Area Welfare Planning Federation 
President, Bay Area Health Facilities Planning Association, Comprehensive 

Health Planning, Health Systems Agency 
Executive Committee, United Bay Area Crusade 
Board of Trustees, Presbyterian Hospital and Medical Center 
Board of Trustees, Children's Home Society of California 
Executive Committee, Bay Area Social Planning Council 
Distribution Committee, San Mateo Foundation 



1919-1920 
1922-1930 
1932-1934 
1933-1934 
1933-1939 
1938-1940 



1939- 
1946- 
1946- 
1946- 
1947- 
1952- 
1956- 
1957- 
1956- 
1961- 



1941 
1950 
1955 
1955 
1962 
1958 
1963 
1959 
1961 
1964 



1962-1965 

1962-1966 

1963-1969 

1965 

1966-1974 

1966- 



xii 



Board of Trustees, National Assembly for Social Policy and Development 1967-1 

Policy Advisory Committee, Northern California Presbyterian Homes 1967-1 

Board of Directors, Services for Seniors 1973- 

Vice President, Services for Seniors 1974- 

San Mateo County Commission on Aging 1974- 

Advisory Council to State Commission on Aging 1975-1 

University of California Alumni Council 1975-1 

Trustee, Peninsula Hospital & Medical Center Foundation 1979 

Trustee, Hillsborough School Foundation 1979 

Member: Peninsula Golf & Country Club, Concordia-Argonaut Club, 

Commonwealth Club of California, Big C Society (University 
of California), Secretary - early '70s. 

President, Beresford Country Club 1937-1 

Citation from California Alumni Association - Permanent Secretary, 

Class of 1914 1979 

Berkeley Fellows, University of California, Berkeley, California. 

Elected member. 1982 



I FAMILY, CHILDHOOD, AND EARLY INFLUENCES 
[Interview 1: November 6, 1980]## 



Dorfman: Mr. Koshland, into what kind of family were you born? 

Koshland: The family was not a wealthy family certainly in my earliest days. 
So far as my grandparents were concerned, three out of four of 
them came from Germany and I would not say they were thoroughly 
Americanized. They had the old German attitude and German accent, 
but the children, my father's generation, were thoroughly assimilated, 
Starting with my father's age group, many of them became active in 
the community and adjusted very well I would say. 

Dorfman: Which of those relatives of your father's age group do you remember? 

Koshland: My father's brothers and sisters; I knew them all very well. In 
fact, later on when I was in the business, there were two uncles 
in the business. When I was in Boston in the business, there were 
my father's brothers. 

Dorfman: Who were they? 

Koshland: Abraham Koshland and Jesse Koshland. 

Dorfman: They were both in the business? 

Koshland: Yes. My father stayed out here. He was in the business. I 

should also say [that] Joseph Koshland, the oldest son, was in the 
business in Boston. So the four brothers were all in the business. 
I remember them all very well. 



////This symbol indicates that a tape or a segment of a tape has 
begun or ended. For a guide to the tapes see page 247. 



Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



Dorfman: 
Koshland: 

Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



Do rf man : 



Koshland: 



What do you remember about them? 

Starting with my Uncle Joe, he was the oldest and I think the 
smartest. He was the man mainly responsible for the success of 
the business. He was a very young man. His father sent him to 
New York to open up an office there, and then after some time (I 
don't know the actual time), he was going to Boston to all the 
mills that we were selling to in New England. Boston became the 
center for the wool market in the United States, so he moved to 
Boston. That was my Uncle Joe. He did not go to college. 

The next brother was my father who remained here. He did 
not go to college. The family couldn't afford it. 

The next one, Abraham Koshland, went to Harvard. The family 
was able to make it and he went to Harvard. 

Jesse Koshland, the fourth and the baby of that group, went 
to the University of California. He lived in Boston as long as 
we were in business there. 

What did your Uncle Abraham study at Harvard? 

I couldn't tell you. I know he studied Greek. A Greek phrase 
would come out of his lips every once in awhile. 

What were his interests besides the business? 

He was very active in the community in Boston and in Federation of 
Jewish Charities. He was a very enthusiastic alumnus of Harvard. 
In fact, he was an impossible person in the office. He was one 
of the most wonderful men I ever knew, but a week before the 
Harvard-Yale game he was impossible'. His stomach was upset and 
he took it out on us. Otherwise he was perfect. I was there in 
my earliest days as an employee and became a member of the firm 
in later years. But I remember him so well. All of us would try 
to stay away from him for one week before the Harvard-Yale football 
game. He was a grand person. 

During the First World War years, he was president of the 
Boston World Trade Association, and the government sent him as 
head of a mission to South America to buy wool for the government, 
which was complimentary I would say. 



What about your Uncle Jesse? 
of California at Berkeley? 



What did he study at the University 



He was in the class of '93. I have no idea what he studied at 
Berkeley. I have no idea. I think he was kicked out at one time 
for some prank. I am not sure that he graduated. He was smart. 



Koshland: Then there were three sisters. One was Fanny Koshland who 

married Abraham Haas. She was the mother of Walter Haas, Sr. 
who just died last December. Nettie was the oldest. She 
married Henry Sinsheimer who was in the business also. In the 
old days the secretary married the boss's daughter. His sons, 
of course, are Stanley and Edgar Sinton. Then Carrie 
married Emil Greenebaum. 

Those are the seven members of my father's brothers-and- 
sisters group who lived to maturity. There is one, Monte 
Koshland. Montefiore was his name. He was the great athlete of 
the family. He went to Berkeley, but a year after he graduated 
(it's in my brother's memoir), he was up in the Northwest in 
Portland when he took sick. I think it was typhoid but I'm not 
sure. He was sick there and he died a year after he got out of 
college. He was captain of the baseball team and he was on the 
football team. He had a great athletic record and was presumably 
a very fine person. He died in about '89. So I didn't know him 
because I was born in '93. 

Dorfman: Do you remember your aunts? 
Koshland: Oh, very well. 



Dofrman: What do you remember about your Aunt Fanny? 

Koshland: She was an absent-minded person and her subsconscious worked 

whenever she was in conversation with anyone. She wrote letters 
that were beautiful, imaginative, and she had a style of her own. 
You never thought this of her. She was a very fine person. 

My Aunt Nettie Sinsheimer was the oldest. She carried the 
burden of the family on Pine Street, I remember very well. She 
was very droll. She had a great sense of humor. She kept house 
[for] my grandfather and grandmother on Pine Street. 

Dorfman: And your other aunts? 

Koshland: Carrie Greenebaum, I don't remember anything particular about 

her. One thing that might be mentioned is the fact that Carrie 
and Fanny vied with each other to see who could serve the best 
dinner. Dinner at their homes was an event much too much but 
they did a magnificent job! It was really a quiet battle that was 
carried on indefinitely as long as they were alive, who could 
cook the best dinner. 



Grandfather Simon Koshland 



Dorfman: Why did your family first come to this country? 

Koshland: My grandfather Simon Koshland came to this country. He was born 
in 1825. He came here in 1843 when Jews were not given a fair 
break in the government in Germany. My family came from Bavaria. 
They couldn't be officers in the army and yet they had to serve. 
In other words, the life of the Jew was not a free life in Germany 
in those days. So, many young people came to this country. You 
have many of these old families here. They came about the same 
time between the 1840s and the 1850s and the 1860s. Many German 
Jews came to this country. His brothers Max and Nathan settled 
in Portland, Oregon. 

Donnan: Where did your grandfather land? 

Koshland: He first came to Hoboken. The first thing he did was to buy a mule 
and start peddling. He found out the mule was blind! That was his 
start. When he came to this country, my grandfather came west to 
San Francisco and then he went back to New York and married my 
grandmother and the two of them came out. Either he came around 
the Straits of Magellan on his first trip or his second trip, 
because it was on the second trip when he came with my grandmother 
as his bride that he came across the Isthmus of Panama and came 
up by bo at 

Dorfman: That's quite a trip. 

Koshland: Oh, it was a trip in those days. 

Dorfman: How did your grandfather meet your grandmother? 

Koshland: I do not know. 

Dorfman: He came to California for what reason? 

Koshland: I imagine [it seemed] the land of opportunity. 

Dorfman: What kind of a man would you say he was? 

Koshland: I remember him so well. Bear this in mind, I was born in 1893. 
He died in 1896. But I do remember his coming down the steps of 
the house that is still there. The house is at 1848 Pine Street 
and [he] looked at us grandchildren. I remember that particular 
event, if you want to call it an event I've got his picture here. 
He had a beard, typical of men of those days including Ulysses S. 
Grant. They all had beards. 



Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



Dorfman: 
Koshland : 

Dorfman: 
Koshland: 
Dorfman: 
Koshland: 

Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



Dorfman: 
Koshland ; 
Dorfman : 



Do you have any memories of your grandmother? 

I do remember her very well,, She sat at home with her own knitting 
or what not. Every afternoon, later in the afternoon, all the 
children, sons and daughters, gathered around and talked. They 
met every afternoon as far as I recall; just sat around and talked. 

That was a lovely tradition. 

The family was very close. We didn't have airplanes. We didn't 
have automobiles. 

Was the house on Pine Street a large one? 
I would say so, yes. 
How was it furnished? 

The furniture? It was typical of those days is the best I can tell 
you; probably overstuffed lounges and chairs and couches and so on. 

A comfortable home? 

I would say so, yes. I went through it about three or four years 
ago. Edgar Sinton invited me to go over. An architect had bought 
the house it was about seven or eight years ago, I guess and 
invited Edgar Sinton to come and see it. He hadn't done much. 
Edgar asked me to go with him and I did, but it was more nostalgic 
for him than it was for me because he had lived in that house and 
was brought up in the house. If you look at his oral history, you 
may find more about that. 

What do you remember of your mother's parents? 

I remember them very well. Bernhard Schweitzer, he was a happy 
individual. I can remember him always singing in a very low voice. 
He always was singing. I should show you a picture of him in a 
stovepipe hat cocked to its side. He was a character. My grand 
mother Rebecca Schweitzer was known for her hair. Her hair went 
all the day to the floor. I will show you that picture. She was 
very proud of it. 

What color was her hair? 

I couldn't tell you accurately. 

What were their interests? 



Koshland: He was in the jobbing business, I think, dry goods for awhile 
with his brother. Then later on he went into real estate. He 
owned properties all over San Francisco. I remember being told 
that he owned sixteen different properties, and he only broke 
down in the 1906 fire. When his hope went, he broke down. I 
remember him very well. The two of them lived at the northwest 
corner of Post and Leavenworth. Sometimes we kids were given a 
treat and would stay overnight with the grandparents on Pine 
Street and invariably my grandfather would wake us up in the 
middle of the night. There was a fire some place and you could 
see it from the house. So we would be up and out watching the 
fire from a distance. 



Parents' Activities and Influence 



Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



Dorfman: 



Was your father, Marcus Koshland, active within the Jewish community? 

My father was. I remember when he was on the board of Temple 
Emanu-El. Of course, the federation was a very simple thing, but 
that came along much later. There was the Eureka Benevolent 
Society. Whether he had any other organizational activities, I doubt 
very much. Some years later [there was] the Pacific Hebrew 
Orphanage and Home Society which became Homewood Terrace. My 
father's major interest was his business I would say. 

He was a very enthusiastic alumnus of the Lincoln Grammar 
School Association. An interesting sidelight on that, as long as 
I mention that, is that my father's bosom companion and pal was 
Louis Haas, no relation to Walter Haas and that family. Louis 
Haas was very active in the community. He and my father were pals 
from the first grade up. Louis Haas was expelled from the school 
(high school this is, Boys' High School) after one and a half 
years in the school for some prank. My father walked out with 
him and nev.r went back to school. 

My mother* was very active in the community, mostly in 
auxiliaries and sometimes on boards the Pacific Hebrew Orphan 
Asylum, Emanu-El Sisterhood, the Hebrew Home for Aged and Disabled. 
She was not on the board there. She was very active with the 
executives. She would bring the executives to the house for 
dinner. To that extent she was active in the Jewish world and 
then, of course, she was very active in the musical world. 

What were the important values that your parents stressed to you 
and to your brother? 



*Corinne 



Koshland: I could say by example, their own lives. We saw the way they lived 
and they lived good lives as members of the community. We took 
it for granted that we would be following and doing the same sort 
of thing. I can't remember any particular emphasis given to any 
one thing that they would actively urge us to follow any certain 
line. I don't recall anything of that nature, but we saw in our 
own home what my mother was doing. [She] was very active later 
on in the musical world. I think the demonstration planted a seed 
in the three of us, my brother and sister and myself. 

My mother was one of the founders of the San Francisco 
Symphony and San Francisco Opera Associations. She was an active 
member of the board of directors of the Home for Incurables, now 
called Garden Hospital, for many years. My mother was also active 
in the auxiliary of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, now Homewood Terrace. 

Dorfman: Were your parents helpful then to those people who were less 
fortunate? 



Koshland; 



Do r f man : 



Koshland: 



Are you talking about their philanthropic activities? 
say they were probably very normal in that respect. 



I would 



What were their activities, both Jewish and non- Jewish, of a 
charitable nature? 

I told you about my mother's activities. My father, as I said, he 
was. on the board of Temple Emanu-El, the Lincoln Alumni Association 
or whatever it was called. I can't remember any other direct 
affiliation of his at the moment. 



Childhood 



Dorfman: Who raised you children? Were you brought up by your mother? 

Koshland: She was the stronger, dominant character of the two I would say. 
She disciplined us very well. She was mainly responsible for our 
bringing up. 

Dorfman: Were there servants at home? 

Koshland: Yes, later on when we were still reasonably small. We moved into 
our house on Washington Street in 1904 when I was then eleven 
years of age. 

Dorfman: That home must have required a staff. 



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Koshland: 

Dorfman: 

Koshland: 
Dorfman: 
Koshland : 



Dorfman: 
Koshland; 



Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



Dorfman: 



Koshland: 



Oh, times had changed and the firm had been more successful in 
that period. It was a very luxurious home. It required a big 
staff. I think we always had a cook prior to that time. 

After that time, when you moved into the home on Washington Street, 
what kind of staff did you have? 

About eight people; that included a chauffeur. 
A chauffeur, a cook 

Maids and what have you. But there were specialists in those days. 
There was a cook in the kitchen and undoubtedly a dishwasher. We 
had no mechanical dishwasher a person, a scullery person and a 
maid for the different areas of the house. It was a big house. 

Was there someone hired to care for you and for the other children? 

We had nurse girls, one, a nurse girl for the three of us to the 
best of my knowledge. But this was prior to 1904 during our 
pre-school ages. I remember one nurse whom I do not remember by 
name. We had a fraulein who was a governess. 

What were her duties to you children? 

I guess [she was] to see that we stayed in line and behavior 
My mother never lost direct contact with us. I would not say she 
turned us over to someone else. In other words, they did certain 
physical things that had to be done. So far as our minds were 
concerned, I would say the major emphasis goes to my mother. 



What expectations of you children did your parents have? 
they expect you to do, to become? 



What did 



I would say so far as my brother was concerned, he was the oldest, 
he was the smartest, he had a better brain. My mother expected 
him to go into the diplomatic service or be a banker. 

They called me Toughy Kelly. I was not as well disciplined. 
I was always in trouble, not serious trouble but pranks, things 
like that. It took me a long time to adjust. My first year in 
high school at Lowell High School there was a history teacher 
named John Longley. [spells name] He had a heart condition and 
we were all told we had to be very careful. But one day he stood 
me up in class I was a freshman taking ancient history from him 
and he said, "How is it I went to college with a Koshland and 
he was a good student. Last year I had a Koshland in my class 
and he was a good student. But now I have you." [laughter] I'll 
never forget it. I was a poor student. He was right! But to 
stand me up in class and do that was not the course of wisdom. 



Dorfman: 



Koshland ; 



No, that must have been humiliating, 
your house? 



Was there much laughter in 



Dorfman : 
Koshland : 
Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



Dorfman: 

Koshland; 

Dorfman: 

Koshland: 



Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



Oh, yes. My mother was very strict in table manners. We had 
"SH, number 1," "SH, number 2," and "SH, number 3." "SH, number 1" 
was sit up; "SH, number 2" was shut up. I don't remember number 
three, but there were three. But we were brought up to have good 
manners. I would say [at] the dining room table at dinner time, 
the three kids took over really. My parents enjoyed I hope they 
enjoyed whatever we had to say about what was going on in the 
world. Even though we were disciplined and well mannered, we 
were encouraged to talk and express ourselves. We weren't held 
down. 

What kinds of things did you usually discuss at the dinner table? 

That's hard for me to answer. 

Were they discussions of politics, for example? 

I would say very definitely when we were of college age and 
perhaps during secondary school age. I don't remember. Probably 
during secondary school, when we were at Lowell High School, 
sometimes we would probably have opinions and express them and 
discuss them. 

Did your parents discuss their political views then with you as 
well? 

I assume that. I don't remember. 

What social activities do you remember in your home as a child? 

My mother, number one, was a great entertainer. She had fancy 
parties in the house periodically. People had to come in fancy 
clothes, I remember that, even before we moved onto Washington 
Street, when we lived on Laguna and Washington. She took days 
and days decorating the dining room table. She did a beautiful 
job . 

So there were many dinner parties then. How about parties for you 
children that would include other children? 

I don't happen to remember any of that nature. But later on when 
my mother got very active in the musical world, she had concerts 
at the house very well known in the community, and I think the 
community appreciated them. She was very active in both the opera 
and the symphony associations. When they were first formed she 
was one of the founding group. She entertained a great deal 
musicians at the house dinner and so on. Also, I think she 
played her part in encouraging young musical students. 



10 



Dorfman: 



Koshland: 



Dorfman: 



Koshland: 



Dorfman: 



Koshland: 



Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



What important people in the musical world do you remember meeting 
in your home? 

Yehudi Menuhin, Isaac Stern, and the young fellow who plays the 
piano. He was very good, but hasn't been so prominent since. 
I can't think of his name. 



We can come back to that later, 
world of opera? 



Were there any others from the 



Oh, some of them. Also, I remember during our high school days, 
very good friends of my parents were Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Gottlob. 
He was the owner of the Geary Theater, so we saw all of the plays, 
and whenever he had a show on, when there was a star in the show, 
it seems that my mother entertained him in the house. I remember 
Maude Adams. I remember her in the house. I can't think of the 
names of any of the others. I could point them out to you if you 
showed me a list of the people who were well known in the 
theatrical world. Many of them were entertained by my parents. 

Did you have an opportunity to relate in any way with them when 
they visited your home? 

No, we got to know them a little bit. One play I forget the name 
of the play, it may have been Shakespeare I went down and acted. 
I was in the chorus; not the singing chorus, a mob scene. I was 
about fourteen. I went down and was right on the stage as part of 
a mob. [It was] in the beginning of my high school days. They 
would train these mobs to really be pretty rough when they went in 
because I remember Gottlob 's business manager grabbing me and 
holding me to protect me against the mob. 

That must have been quite an experience. 
[laughs] It was ! 



Dorfman: 



Koshland: 



We were talking about social activities at your home. Were there 
any Jewish holiday parties, such as Chanukah parties, Purim parties? 



Oh, yes, at Succoth time my mother always had a party, 
remember any others, but there were others. 



I can't 



There was always lighting of candles. My mother was creative 
and had imagination in decorating the tables, often very amusing. 
She spent a great deal of time in floral decorations which were 
quite artistic. When Pierre Monteux was present, she arranged the 
dining room like an orchestra. 



11 



Dorfman: I understand you have always been concerned with physical fitness. 
Did that begin in your boyhood? 

Koshland: I wouldn't recall that. When I was in high school, I was a good 
enough swimmer to be included on the team. I was one of the 
poorest, but nevertheless swimming was my main interest as an 
athletic hobby. I played sandlot baseball with the boys in the 
street as we did in those days. When we went to school, we had 
no athletic fields at all. In grade school at Pacific Heights 
School on Jackson Street, we played in the yard there. The yard 
was probably seventy-five feet by fifty feet in size. It was very 
small. So you never had anything there except a basketball net. 
It had no facilities. So swimming was my main interest athletically, 

Dorfman: And has continued to be? 

Koshland: Up to this last year; I've slipped now in my old age. I now swim 
for therapeutic reasons and not primarily for the enjoyment. I 
used to swim daily a distance of a quarter mile I kept in good 
shape through swimming and enjoyed it. But I feel as though now 
it is somewhat different. 

Dorfman: Who were your boyhood friends? 

Koshland: My friends right through high school and college who were close to 
me were Alfred Meyer, James Ransohoff , Roy Van Vliet, Jack 
Lilienthal, Ted Lilienthal, and Louis Sloss who later married 
my sister. That was my home gang. 

Dorfman: What kinds of things did you do to entertain yourselves as boys? 

Koshland: With the boys? In high school I suppose we went to football and 
baseball games and whatnot when the school was playing. Of 
course, in that area we were bleacherites , though Louis Sloss 
was a good tennis player. He was on the high school tennis team 
and later on, on the tennis team at Stanford. 

So far as girls were concerned, we didn't see much of girls 
I would say; not a great deal. We were interested in our own 
athletics, whatever we did, sandlot type of athletics. There 
were no stars in the group. 

Dorfman: It was outdoor athletics that were of interest to you. 

Koshland: I would say so. 

Dorfman: Did you ever have private lessons in language, music, fencing 



12 



Koshland: 



Dorfman: 
Koshland: 

Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



Dorfman: 
Koshland: 

Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



Dorfman: 
Koshland: 
Do rf man : 
Koshland: 



Oh, yes. During our high school days and this is brought up by 
my brother in his oral history from the Godchaux family, we 
took piano and French lessons. They were wonderful people and I 
was the worst student in the world. I would sit there and make 
conversation while Helene Godchaux was trying to get me to play 
the piano. I regret it to this day, but she tried her best to 
teach me the piano and her sister Becky to teach me French, and 
I'd talk about everything under the sun to avoid doing [it] . I 
think they were ashamed that they took my mother's money to try 
to teach me. I regret that to this day. 

You were just not interested in those days? 

I wanted to be out in the street playing baseball with the boys, 
[laughs] I was a gang man in the better sense of the term. 

In the long run, what would you say the greatest influences from 
your childhood were on you? 

People other than family members. My brother having been there, 
I would say the same thing he said about Carl [Carleton] Parker 
over at Cal. I got more from two professors at Cal than from all 
the others combined. One was Carl Parker and the other was David 
Barrows. David Barrows taught political science and many years 
later he was president of the university for a short period. 

Within your own family who had the greatest influence on you? 



My mother within the family I would say. 
activities. 



By example in her own 



Did the family ever own more than one home at the same time? 

No. My sister and I were born on Franklin Street near Broadway. 
What is the name of the church there, the church which is at 
Broadway and Van Ness and the parish house is now at the corner 
where our home was where my sister and I were born? St. Bridget's. 
My brother was born on California Street near Laguna. 

What were the reading habits of your family? 

I can't recall anything in particular that I can tell you. 

Did you ever do much traveling with your family? 

My mother made it a point every summer to take us on a trip. My 
father couldn't during that time of the wool buying season. My 
mother took us on a trip every summer. We went away in 1902 and 
1903. We all had the whooping cough at the same time, and my 



13 



Koshland: mother got us into Jacob Schram's Vineyards up in the Napa Valley. 
No hotel would take us because we all had the whooping cough, 
and my mother put us all in together. When one got it, she saw to 
it that the other two got it at the same time. My sister had a 
very severe case. 

Dorfman: That must have been quite a summer. 

Koshland: We traveled a good deal later on when we were in college and high 
school. My mother did her best to bring us up properly. 

Dorfman: Did your parents have much involvement with the schools that you 
attended? 

Koshland: No. 

Dorfman: What about artists and writers whom your parents knew or entertained? 

Koshland: I can't give you any answer to that. I don't know. 

Dorfman: Were you and your brother close even as children? 

Koshland: Up through school days. My brother and I were thirteen months 
apart. But we had our own friends we went with. One year in 
school days, the differential makes a big difference. So he went 
with one group of boys, and I went with another group all through 
school. 

Dorfman: What interests and what activities did you share as children? 
Koshland: I can't recall any. 



Family Religious and Cultural Orientation 



Dorfraan: I wunt to ask you something of your religious orientation, your 
family's emotional and cultural involvement as Jews. Did you 
observe the Sabbath at home? 

Koshland: No. 

Dorfman: There wasn't any observance, any lighting of candles? 

Koshland: That was later on when Mother had a musical at the time of Succoth. 
She had the lighting of candles, we went through that performance 
at home as part of a musical program. Well, that's not fair. It 
was really a religious program set to music. When is the lighting 
of candles? She always had that. She would light the candles when 
she had an affair. 



14 



Dorfman: Did you attend temple as a family on Friday evening? 



Sunday School at Temple Emanu-El 



Koshland: No, but Dan and I both went to Sunday school for one year. Sunday 
school in those days the kids were not well disciplined. I used 
to raise the devil. 

One time I was sent out of the classroom for a misdemeanor 
of some kind, and Popper, the superintendent, asked my name. He 
asked if my father was Marcus Koshland. My father was there for 
a board meeting. "Just a minute." [chuckles] He got my father 
out. But we weren't the only ones who misbehaved in Sunday school. 
I think that most of the kids didn't like it, they didn't want it. 
It was a chore on a Sunday when they could be out playing ball. 

Dorfman: Did you have any private religious instruction such as in Hebrew? 
Koshland: No, no. 

Dorfman: Was there an interest on the part of the family in Israel in those 
days? 

Koshland: No, none. My father and mother were reasonably religious I would 
say, very devoted to the temple, and my mother carried on a very 
strong feeling as a religious Jew. I didn't follow. 

Dorfman: What do you remember of the attitudes of your family and friends 
regarding those Jews who might have been more religiously 
observant than your family or those Jews who might have been 
interested in the Zionist cause? Do you remember any feelings? 

Koshland: No. 



Attitude Toward Polish Jews 



Dorfman: Was there any discussion about the Jews of Eastern European origin 
in the city? 

Koshland: Well, I learned later on in my more mature years about the social 

snobbishness of the German Jew against the Polish and the Russian 

Jew. I learned all that later on after my school days, after I was 
out in the world. 



15 



Dorfman: So you knew of none of that at home? You didn't have any feeling 
of a social isolation of those Jews? 



An Important Change in the Federation 



Koshland; 



Dorfman: 
Koshland : 
Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



I remember very vaguely remarks made once in awhile about someone 
as Pollochim. I remember hearing that: "That person is a 

But we were not brought up with any prejudice our- 

But the German 



Pollochim." 



selves. I don't recall anything of that nature, 
community was definitely prejudiced, a biased community. 

I saw that when I moved to Boston, a very definite division 
there, the federation people by and large. It was a very small 
federation. It grew and became a decent one while I was there 
not because of me! but it grew in acceptance. There was always 
a very real distinction between the German Jew and the Russian- 
Polish Jew. Boston was a port of immigration second only to New 
York. New York was the main place. But while I was there, there 
was a tremendous change in attitudes. 

While you were in Boston? 

While I was there. I was there for sixteen years. 

How did that change come about? 

Well, because of the fact that social services became a profession 
and brought people into social service agencies. The executives 
of the federation, which was a small, simple federation when I 
first went there, recognized that it was now becoming a real 
profession. The executives I think had much to do with educating 
the community. To have a community attitude toward the federation 
and individual agencies, you try to build the organization on a 
democratic basis. 

The same thing is true in San Francisco. As one man, whom I 
will not name who is not with us anymore said in a budget committee 
of the federation here, fifteen or twenty years ago (I was on it 
for too many years), he was arguing about giving money or more 
money to a certain organization. He was arguing for an organization. 
He said, "We know that San Francisco is run by a small cliche." 
That's what he said! At the same meeting he was arguing a very 
nice fellow he was, but he was over his head when it came to the 
language he said, "Now, you have got me in the corner of this 
circle." Goldwynisms! He was our Sam Goldwyn. I'll never forget 
it. 



16 



Koshland: So, no question about it, the criticism of the German Jewish group 
is that they were snobbish. In San Francisco, I remember when I 
was president of the Jewish Federation here in the late thirties, 
I made every effort to bring [in] other people. It was a 
conscious, definite, positive effort to broaden the whole base of 
membership and control of the federation in a more democratic 
manner that had not been there before. 



Dorfman: 
Koshland: 

Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



Dorfman: 



Koshland: 



The Issue of Intermarriage 

Tell me, did your parents make a strong effort to discourage 
marriage to non-Jews? 

No, I do not recall any discussions of that kind at all. I think 
they figured that automatically their children would marry Jews. 
I don't remember any discussion of that really 

So that might have been their expectation, but it was not discussed? 

I don't recall discussion of this nature, but I'm sure it was an 
expectation. So far as my brother and my sister and I are concerned, 
we married within the Jewish faith, but not our children. I felt 
very strongly that if I'm going to be on an equal basis now, in 
high school, Jewish boys were not taken into fraternities when I 
was in high school. So there was that degree of discrimination. 
That was discussed and we understood it. So I felt later on that 
if we wanted to be treated on an equal basis, we can't stand aloof 
and ghettoize ourselves. I still feel that way very strongly. 
If I send my children to a public school and they get along with 
their friends in the school socially as well as students and there 
is no discrimination, I expose them to the whole world. How 
can I say, "Do not marry this person." I feel very strongly on 
that. 

Can you tell me how your parents reacted to those Jews who might 
have converted to other faiths? 

I remember discussions on occasion when that happened, and I would 
say that they were critical of it. And a person who married 
outside of the faith was subject to strong criticism on the part 
of the rabbis and strongly religious. Historically for generations 
Jews were excluded from associating with non-Jews on an equal basis. 
This discrimination evidenced itself in the business world as well 
as in the social world. All this resulted in the Jews living 
entirely within their own group. 



17 



Dorfman: What reception was there by the Jewish community in San Francisco 
to those refugees from Nazi persecution when they arrived in the 
1930s? 

Koshland: I was active in the organization in settling these people. I 

think we did a reasonable job. A man was in and gave a talk last 
week, Bill [William] Haber from Ann Arbor, Michigan. He was 
active in the refugee program. He was dean of the school of 
economics at the University of Michigan. We've become very good 
friends over the years. We got together, a group of us, under the 
auspices of the federation. Hyman Kaplan was the executive 
director of the federation at the time. I remember going to towns- 
San Jose, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Fresno and organizing groups to 
accept the refugees in their communities, so they wouldn't all 
be settled in an urban center. That worked out very well. 

Dorfman: Yes, that was an enormous job. 

Koshland: That was done nationally throughout the whole country [with] the 
refugees from overseas. 



A Viewpoint on Jewish Nostalgia 



Dorfman: What are your feelings about the value of Jewish nostalgia? 

Koshland: Well, I'm a renegade. I feel that religions are divisive. I 
object. I think religion and formal practice was necessary in 
the old days to hold people down to avoid revolution. They were 
subjected to all kinds of things. Maybe it was practical and 
necessary in those days. But nowadays I don't see the need for 
them as they are. I think they're divisive. My taking that sort 
of stand does not help my status with some people. 

Dorfman: There were Jewish ritual or artistic objects within your parents' 
home, were there not? Do you remember what they were? 

Koshland : No . 

Dorfman: So you would not know what became of those? 

Koshland: I remember the menorahs , the candles, that I remember very well. 
Up to my mother's death and from 1953, it was an annual practice 
to put the candles out in the window sill for all the world to see. 
I don't remember any other artifacts or things of a religious 
nature except a big bible in the sitting room,, I remember that. 

Dorfman: Were there any other books of Jewish interest? 



18 



Koshland: I don't recall any. There undoubtedly were some. I'm sure there 
were. 

Dorfman: Do you know where that menorah is now or the Bible? 
Koshland: No. 



A Gift of an Ark to Temple Emanu-El 



Dorfman: 



Koshland: 



Dorfman: 



Your family commissioned the construction of a magnificent ark for 
Temple Emanu-El. How did that interest develop? 

I recall pretty clearly. I was living in Boston when this was 
commissioned, but some way or other we communicated. My mother 
I think suggested that we do this in honor of our father after he 
died. He died in 1925, March 29. She thought it was a good idea 
for us, the three children, to give that ark to the temple, so the 
three of us did. Ingerson and Dennison were the two men who went 
to London and developed the whole thing there. They were over 
there for over a year, I believe, before they shipped the ark here 
to San Francisco. 

[tape interruption] Is there anything additional you wanted to add? 



A Position on Temple Membership 



Koshland: Just one thing. I must say frankly I do not belong to a temple. 
It would be much easier for me to join for the few dollars it 
would cost to join, but I am set in my own thoughts in that matter. 
I have been subject to undoubtedly tremendous criticism, but I have 
refused to join a temple. The same thing in Boston; I didn't 
there and naturally I wouldn't here. My parents were closely 
associated with Temple Emanu-El. If I were to join any, I would 
join that one. But I still have my feelings. 

[Interview 2: November 20, 1980]## 

Dorfman: You told me that your grandfather had been a peddler in Hoboken. 
Why and how did he become a peddler in Hoboken? 



19 



Reflections on Grandfather Simon Koshland 



Koshland: My assumption is, from what little I heard as a youngster, there 
was discrimination against the Jews in Germany. They were not 
equal members of the society. In fact, it was my understanding 
that Jews could not become officers in the army. So they 
encouraged the young people to come to this country, the land of 
opportunity. 

My grandfather was born in 1825, incidentally on July 4, and 
he came to this country in 1843. He was eighteen years old, so 
he was a youngster. Some descendants of members of the other 
families that we know of came here, and some came to Baltimore, 
and some to Cincinnati who have had the similar experiences. 
There were other distantly related descendants mentioned by my 
cousin in his work. 

If you look at the books that have come out like The Proud 
Tower and other books, some of these names are successful bankers 
and businessmen in New York and other big cities have the same 
story. They came to this country and peddled because those who 
came directly from Germany to New Orleans were helped by the Baron 
De Hersch Fund which was established or helped immigrants come to 
this country and not all came to the one port of entry. They 
wanted to distribute them throughout the country, so they could 
adjust. My grandfather came through Hoboken. But you find some of 
these bankers in New York who came originally through New Orleans. 

Dorfman: Was your grandfather aided by anyone or any fund? 

Koshland: I'm sure he was not, but that's purely conjecture on my part. 

Dorfman: You mentioned his trip West. What are some other stories? 

Koshland: You should refer to Edgar Sinton and his oral history because I 
wrote to my granddaughter when she asked me about the origin of 
the family, and I happened to show it to Edgar Sinton. He 
corrected me and he's more knowledgeable about this than I am. 
My grandfather came to this country in '43 and I thought that he 
came out here first after a short period in Hoboken, but check 
Edgar Sinton's story on that because it is probably more accurate 
than my memory. 



20 



Family Travel in the Early Years 



Dorfman: 
Koshland: 

Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



Do rf man : 



Koshland: 



You mentioned that when you went to Schramsburg one summer with 
your brother, your sister, and your mother, the three of you had 
whooping cough. 

That was over in Napa County, yes, Schramsburg, the Vineyard, 
which still exists I believe. We were there about 1902 I would 
say as a guess. 

What other trips did you take with your mother? 

Oh, she made it a point. You see, my father couldn't get away. 
This was a busy time. It was a seasonal business that he was in, 
the wool business. 

In 1903 I know my brother and I went on a camping trip to 
Yosemite Valley, and we spent six weeks climbing mountains 
around Yosemite Valley with other boys from high school. They 
were all from high school. I was not; I was ten years old. So I 
was not in high school. But there was a teacher, Fred Koch [spells 
name], who incidentally was a California grad and a quarter miler. 
He is well known for that, and he was a teacher at Lowell High 
School. He organized a trip with another man, another teacher, 
Tracy Kelley [spells name], as I recall, who was also a teacher at 
Lowell High School. The two of them organized summer camping 
trips taking ten boys, though Koch did not go on this trip. My 
brother and I went on this trip in Yosemite and we hiked into the 
valley. We slept on the ground, climbed some of the peaks around 
there, and went into the upper valley. I remember it very, very 
distinctly. We had a horse and wagon of some kind taking 
supplies and some of our personal equipment. 

The only sad thing about that trip was that on the way back 
Tracy Kelley's younger brother, Hubert Kelley, was a member of the 
group with us. He took sick and I remember my brother was put 
on the horse with him. My brother held him up and he died in my 
brother's arms on the horse. It was on our way home. It was 
within a day or two of our coming home, but it was a sad homecoming. 
It was quite an experience, particuarly for my brother because the 
two of them were riding one horse. 



How traumatic, 
trip? 



Which peaks do you remember climbing during that 



Well, the only one of any importance they didn't let me go on. ] 
was too young; I was ten. I think it was Mt. Lyell, on the 
eastern boundary of Yosemite. [There was] no stiff climbing, no 



21 



Koshland: Mount Everest-type cliffs. On this trip I should say that Fred 
Koch and Tracy Kelley organized it, but Kelley was the man who 
took us on the trip. But Koch came to take us out when Tracy 
Kelley reported that his brother had died. 

Dorfman: That must have been just terrible for all of you. 

Koshland: Oh, it sure was but fortunately it was at the end of the trip. 

Dorfman: A very exciting trip, I'm sure, for a ten-year old boy, 

Koshland: It certainly was. The boys were up to the age of sixteen. Most 
of them I would say were fourteen, fifteen, thereabouts. 

Dorfman: What other trips did you take? 

Koshland: Let me see, after the earthquake in 1906 we took a trip in 1909 
to Southern California with my mother. That time we had an 
automobile. I remember going to Del Monte and to Coronado in 
1909, and I remember particularly we were in the dining room of 
the old Del Monte Hotel, this tremendous dining room. At noon 
time we were in the dining room and a severe earthquake took place 
and people panicked. 

Dorfman: At the Del Monte? 

Koshland: At the Del Monte in 1909. Of course, they had all gone through the 
1906 earthquake and they started panicking. I remember my father 
in particular getting up on a chair. Normally, he was a very 
excitable person. He got up and said, "Sit down and take it easy" 
words to that effect, I remember very clearly to try to avoid a 
real panic. I remember my father reacting in a way in which I 
never expected, 

Dorfman: How did your mother react? 
Koshland: She was very calm. 
Dorfman: And you children? 

Koshland: We were not excited as far as I recall. I remember that particular 
incident because of my father's reaction. 

Dorfman: Where was the Del Monte Hotel? 
Koshland: In Del Monte, now Pebble Beach. 
Dorfman: Were there other trips? 



22 



Koshland: In 1912 we went East. I remember we stopped in Colorado Springs 
and we went up to the top of Pikes Peak and went on to the East. 
That was in 1912 and that was when we were taken in by Julius 
Kahn, who was our congressman, to meet President Taft in the 
White House. That was an event for us kids. 

Dorfman: What did you think of the entire experience? 

Koshland: It was a great experience for us as kids to meet the president of 
the United States in his own office. After Washington, we went 
on a visit to New York [for] a short time and Boston and back. 
That was 1912. Then in 1913, my mother took my brother and sister 
and Dan's friend, Joe Ehrman, on a trip around the world. But I 
stayed in college to finish up my last year because I only graduated 
in 1914. 

One other trip comes to mind in 1910 when we took a trip on 
the good ship Queen to Alaska. But we merely went along the 
panhandle, not the real interior, but only as far as Skagway. 
A great event there was on July 4 we went out at sea. Of course, 
we didn't have radio in those days, but they had wireless telegraph. 
My brother and I went around the passengers to collect fifty 
dollars so we could get round-by-round reports on wireless of 
the Jeffries- Johnson fight, which was a great fight in Reno at 
that time. The funny part of it was the wireless didn't work 
properly, and we got very, very little for our fifty dollars! 

Dorfman: Oh, that's too bad and here you had gone around collecting for it! 

Koshland: From the other passengers. 

Dorfman: What kind of car did your parents have? 

Koshland: The first car in 1905 was a Peerless. It was considered one of the 
good cars in those days. It went out of existence later on. After 
that, our next car several years later was a Thomas Flyer. Then 
the next car after that was a Locomobile period! [laughter] 

Dorfman: Which one did you take your trips in? 

Koshland: Of course, in 1906 after the earthquake, we were down in Santa 
Monica. The car we had at that time was the Peerless. In 1907 
[it was] the same. I don't recall any particular trips with the 
other cars. 

Dorfman: Did you need to stay overnight at hotels? Certainly in those days 
they didn't have motels. 

Koshland: Oh, yes, that's right. 



23 



Dorfman: Where did you stay and in what kind of accommodations? 

Koshland: In 1906 when we went to Los Angeles and stayed down, my parents 
took a cottage after the earthquake near the beach in Santa 
Monica. There is a beach there and we had a cottage right off 
of the beach. Four of us went down by automobile. It took four 
days and we burned out just before we got to Los Angeles. 

Incidentally, my cousins, Edgar Sinton, Walter Haas, my 
brother, and I the four of us with a chauffeur or driver we 
took four days to get to Los Angeles and got to the town, I think 
it was Calabasas but I'm not sure. Anyway, fifty miles from our 
destination, the oil leaked on the dashboard. It was a different 
construction in those days. The oil from the transmission and 
engine was in a little tank on the dashboard and the oil leaked 
down below to the exhaust manifold. It heated up and burned, so 
the whole dashboard was burned. We had to hitchhike rides into 
town! [laughs] 

Dorfman: That was just you boys? 
Koshland: The four of us, yes. 

Dorfman: You had some exciting adventures. Did you meet any well known or 
important people aside from your trip to Washington? 

Koshland: We knew Julius Kahn, who was a congressman from San Francisco. 
I wouldn't say in our school days we met important people other 
than what I've told you. 

Dorfman: How were you influenced by these trips? 

Koshland: I think it was educational. We learned something about geography, 
we learned something about history incidentally I'd say. It gives 
a broader viewpoint. Traveling is the best kind of education. 



Childhood in the Family Home 



Dorfman: Picking up again where we left off last week, were you ever 
required to do any work at home, any chores? 

Koshland: No. We lived in a luxurious manner. There was no question about 
it. We were spoiled by that, but I would say on the other hand, 
my mother was very meticulous about not permitting us to be 
spoiled in spite of the fact we lived in a luxurious mansion. We 
never were permitted to ride in the automobile except on occasion. 
It was a treat to ride in the automobile. Of course, the streets 



24 



Koshland: 

Dorman: 
Koshland: 

Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



Dorfman: 
Koshland: 

Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



had cobblestones and horses mainly. The tires picked up nails 
and very seldom did you go out without having a tire go out. We 
never were taken to school by automobile. 



How did you go? 

That's a correction, I think, in my brother's case. 
Koshland 's memoir] 

How did you go to school? 



[Daniel 



When we were in high school, Lowell High School then was on Sutter 
Street between Octavia and Gough. We walked and when it rained on 
Sacramento Street there was an electric car system which exists 
to this day only by bus. When it rained, we would take the 
streetcar on Sacramento Street which took us practically to the 
school. But we walked. We usually picked up two or three other 
students and walked with them. It was fun. We walked to school 
and walked home. This doesn't happen today. They can walk miles 
playing golf, but not to go to school! 

Did your family ever have a horse and carriage? 

No, the Schweitzer grandparents living at Post and Leavenworth 
did have horses and carriages. We never did. 



Do you remember anything about those horses and carriages? 



I remember them, yes, because it was at Post and Leavenworth. 
I told you I think before (I don't want to repeat myself), I 
remember going there once in awhile on the weekend and my grand 
father waking us in the middle of the night to see a fire. The 
house wasn't highly situated but it was high enough so you could 
see across toward the Mission. 

Do you remember what kind of carriages there were? 

Yes, there was the open Victoria and I guess we called it a 
Brougham for inclement weather. The Brougham was enclosed. 



As 



The House, Gardens, and Staff 



Dorfman: What sort of gardens did your family home have? 

Koshland: [pause] I'm trying to figure how to answer that one. They were 
simple gardens, but my mother had a gardener. I think he was a 
full-time gardener. The grounds were not big but big enough to 



25 



Koshland: warrant that, I guess. Outside of the lawn and the trees, there 
was a formal garden in back of the house. I'd say that today it 
exists in the same manner. I should say also an elevation still 
exists on the Washington Street side. There is a formal garden. 
There is a lot that my father bought later on after buying the 
first one to protect privacy if you could call it that; a small 
lot that had flowers. So that part of the garden, plus what is 
in back, justified a gardener in those days. 

Dorfman: Did you children play in the garden? 

Koshland: It wasn't a playground, no, no. As boys, we played in the street 
baseball and sometimes the police kicked us out. 

Dorfman: Where did you go then after they kicked you out? 

Koshland: We'd come back! We were recidivists. 

Dorfman: What was your favorite room in your lovely home? 

Koshland: I suppose I would have to answer that by saying the large living 
room on the second floor, because we put in a billiard table in 
there. It was a multi-service room really, a very large room. 
There we played billiards and there even was an offshoot. There 
was a small room next to it which was for card playing, and we 
played poker with our friends. This was in high school days and 
college days. My mother would rather have us playing poker at 
home than playing in some public joint of some kind. 

Dorfman: Were there other rooms in the house that were well used and enjoyed 
by the family? 

Koshland: There were two dining rooms. One was called the breakfast room. 
Even so, it was a pretty formal room. The dining room was very 
formal, unique in its decor leather walls that had imprints in 
color. It was unique. It was a very formal room. 

Dorfman: Were your family meals formal? 

Koshland: I would say relatively formal, although we had complete freedom 
and the kids took over the conversation from our parents. We 
had complete freedom in conversations. But I would say that we 
had to dress up and be clean and dress in a certain manner to come 
to the table. My mother was very strict about things like that. 

Dorfman: You were telling me that there were eight servants. 

Koshland: Yes, at one time. 

Dorfman: Did your mother do any of the cooking or any of the preparation? 



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26 



Koshland: No. 

Dorfman: When servants became ill, what happened? Who cared for them? 

Koshland: I couldn't answer that. I really don't know. 

Dorfman: Did they live on the property? 

Koshland: Oh, yes, each one had a separate room of his own or her own and 
their own facilities. In fact, there was a recreation room that 
they enjoyed also. But the female servants lived on the third 
floor and the male servants had a special area in the basement. 
So it was not like the dormitory system at the university today! 

Dorfman: As a child, what would you say were the major events in your 
life? 

Koshland: Up to what age do you want me to cover? 
Dorfman: Up to high school. 



The 1906 Earthquake and Fire 



Koshland: I guess I would have to say the earthquake and fire. That was in 
1906. I remember a good deal about it. 

Dorfman: What do you remember? 

Koshland: In those days, my brother and I lived in the same room on the second 
floor. I remember waking up and [it was] the first time in my 
life I ever felt an earthquake, waking up and seeing the mirror 
over the fireplace swing back and forth. It was a very severe 
earthquake. I forget what it was on the Richter scale. I wasn't 
scared. We knew nothing about the damage that was done to the 
house until w.: started dressing. My father went into his bathroom, 
my parents' bathroom, to get up and shave and so on, and he happened 
to look out of the window and see all of this damage that happened 
in the front of the house. He had no idea. But when he got up, 
he knew it was an earthquake and figured it was time to get up. 
But all of a sudden he shouted, I think, when he saw what had 
happened at the front of the house. 

Dorfman: That was certainly eventful. 



27 



Koshland: That was 1906 and, of course, another event was in 1903 which I 
told you about, the camping trip to Yosemite; in 1912, the visit 
to Washington, D.C. and the meeting with President Taft. Offhand, 
I don't think of any other particular events. 

Dorfman: To get back for a moment to the earthquake, how was your life 
affected immediately thereafter? 

Koshland: Number one, when our father saw the damage, after we had some 

breakfast he sent me on my bicycle across Masonic Avenue to see 
John D. McGilvary, the stone mason contractor, who had to do 
with the construction of the house, and to tell him to send some 
men over because there were some stones hanging over the top of 
the second floor that were very dangerous. If they had fallen, 
they would have fallen possibly on people. He sent the automobile, 
as I recall (I'm not certain about this), but I think he sent our 
automobile over there to pick up some men to come and clear the 
second floor with the overhanging of these stones that were loose. 

Then after getting John McGilvery, alerting him, I went on 
my bicycle down to my grandparents, first to the old house on 
1848 Pine Street where my Koshland grandparents lived. Of course, 
my grandfather had died in 1896 but my grandmother lived there 
and the Sinsheimers lived there. Then I went on down to Post and 
Leavenworth to see the Schweitzer grandparents and say we were all 
alive and well. 

Dorfman: Were their homes damaged? 

Koshland: My Schweitzer grandparents, their home was not damaged on that day. 
It burned up eventually before three days were up. When the 
soldiers ordered my grandfather to evacuate; he didn't believe his 
house would go. They almost shot him! Practically everything east 
of Van Ness Avenue burned. 

But when I went down, that was the morning of the earthquake. 
The fire was nowhere near. It was just starting up down below in 
the Mission district and east near the Embarcadero. But that was 
quite a ride just the same. 

Dorfman: How did you feel riding down there that morning? 

Koshland: I don't know. [As] an afterthought, I realized I rode this bicycle 
over live wires that had fallen in the street and it was dangerous, 
but I never knew it at the time. The home on Pine Street, the 
Koshland home, did not burn. It stands to this day. 

Dorfman: When you were a child, how free were you to explore your neighborhood? 



28 



Koshland: We were very free I would say through high school days. I remember 
I had one friend in my age group, we walked all over the city. 
Well, I won't say we went south of Market but all over north of 
Market as far as the ocean. I'd say I walked a good deal. 

Dorfman: You were telling me that you, your brother, and your sister 
attended Pacific Heights Grammar School. 

Koshland: Yes, but my sister later on, when she came to secondary school, 
went to Miss Murison's School. That was a private school. 

Dorfman: Why was that? 

Koshland: Like Hamlin's School, Miss Murison's School had prestige. I don't 
know. So many people went to private school in those days. But my 
brother and I went to public school right through from the beginning, 

Dorfman: What do you remember about the public schools that you attended? 

Koshland: I remember that I was the poorest in the class. I was a very 
poor student and my brother was a very good student. 

Dorfman: Was that because of a lack of interest on your part in school? 

Koshland: It was certainly a lack of interest. I didn't enjoy going to 
school. 



Dorfman: Why do you think that was so? 

Koshland: I don't know. I have a sneaking suspicion that my eyesight 

difficulty which was not bad at all, but I think the astigmatism 
that was recognized and identified after I got out of college, 
affected my reading ability. I never went to an eye doctor until 
after I was out of college, and I presumably worked three times 
as hard as my brother did because I had to read everything over 
two or three times to absorb it and I do to this day. It was not 
identified and I didn't go to an eye do.tor. I think that had to 
do with my rebellion against school because it was difficult for 
me to absorb . 

Dorfman: Which teachers were most memorable in your grammar school years? 

Koshland: Miss Sweibrook I remember. She was a lovely lady. Her nephew, 
Roland Foerster, became a very good friend of mine all through 
high school and through college. We were classmates and at all 
reunions one of the main leaders of the group. They have all 
died now except Don Mclaughlin and me, all of the old crowd that 
were wheelerdealers of the class, you might say, who organized. 
reunions. There are just two of us left. 



29 



Dor f man: I'm sure you enjoy each other. 
Koshland: We do see each other, yes. 

Dorfman: What kinds of things did you and your friends do to amuse yourselves 
at school and after school as well? 

Koshland: In high school days? 
Dorfman: No, in grammar school. 

Koshland: We went to school and went home period. I can't remember anything 
other than getting out on the street and playing baseball and in 
football season we played football, touch football. I don't 
remember anything else. 

Dorfman: Were there multi-racial groups at school? 
Koshland: In grammar school now? 
Dorfman: Yes. 

Koshland: I think there were many Japanese. I don't recall Chinese. There 
was the Immigration Exclusion Act all the way through with Teddy 
Roosevelt. There was much later, a later exclusion act in 1924, 
as I recall. 

Dorfman: Were any of your friends Japanese? 

Koshland: Not socially. No, I would say not. College and high school were 
different. But in grade school, I would say no. 



Early San Francisco 



Dorfman: As your childhood progressed, what was it like to grow up in San 
Francisco and watch San Francisco change? 

Koshland: Of course, with the advent of the automobile we had an automobile 
in 1905 we didn't go far with that. 

Dorfman: How would that San Francisco compare with San Francisco today? 

Koshland: Certainly there were no high-rises. We would get out in the ferry 
boat in those days approaching San Francisco or leaving it. You 
would see the hills Nob Hill, Russian Hill, Telegraph Hill out. 
Now they don't anymore because the high-rises are taller than the 
hills are which I regret to this day. 



30 



Dorfman: It must have been a beautiful sight as you were approaching. 
Koshland: It always was. 

Dorfman: What was your neighborhood shopping district like as you were 
growing up? 

Koshland: My mother, in my grade school days, did the shopping mostly on 

Fillmore Street. Wait a minute, I should say this. We're talking 
about the period now before we moved to Washington and Maple 
Streets. We lived for one year at Washington and Laguna Streets 
while the Guggenhimes, my mother's sister and family, were in 
Europe. That was for one year in 1900. In those days, my mother 
would have shopped logically in the Fillmore Street area. Later 
on, we lived on Washington and Maple Streets and there was a small 
shopping area at Sacramento and Presidio Avenue and I guess to 
some extent on Divisadero. Those were the logical places. 

Dorfman: Did you ever accompany your mother on those shopping trips? 

Koshland: I would say very seldom. It made no impression on me at all that 
I can remember. 

Dorfman: Do you remember as a child attending any bar mitzvahs? 

Koshland: I can remember attending none, as far as I can recall. I've been 
to a few since that time. 

Dorfman: When you were growing up, what were you most afraid of? 
Koshland: I don't recall having any fears. 

Dorfman: Do you remember the funniest thing that ever happened to you as a 
child? 

Koshland: One thing I do recall is when we moved out to Washington and Maple 
Streets and we continued going to Pacific Heights School. There 
was a gang of boys and not a bad gang such as you have nowadays , 
but there were gangs of good boys. 

One of the boys got hold of me and we started to fist fight. 
He was from that gang and it was arranged that we were to meet a 
week later in the vacant lot at Spruce and Clay Streets, I 
remember, to fight it out. I was scared to death. I had my friend, 
Jim Ransohoff, he was my pal in those days, I had him go with me 
as my second. I was scared to death of this fellow who was the 
same size. We started this fight and the police came along, and 
we went a block away to another vacant lot on Washington Street 



31 



Koshland: between Locust and Spruce, I remember so well. We resumed the 
fight. He would lunge at me and I would throw my hand out like 
this [extends outstretched arm and fist] in self defense. Just 
in self defense. I was scared to death. I remember doing this 
every time he lunged at me. I'd throw my hand out like that. 
He finally got a bloody nose and the fight ended. Then one of the 
other boys in his gang that was there said, "I'm taking up for 
him." I said, "I've got nothing against you!" [laughter] I 
recall that! 

Dorfman: How old were you? 

Koshland: I was eleven years old, all of that. [more laughter] 

Dorfman: What made you feel lonely when you were a child? 

Koshland: I can't recall. 

Dorfman: What was the most fun for you? What gave you the most pleasure? 

Koshland: As a child, now? I have no idea, no idea. 

Dorfman: You told me that your grandparents were quite Americanized and 
particularly for those years. Did they speak any Yiddish? 

Koshland: No. 

Dorfman: Did they know Yiddish at all? 

Koshland: I doubt it. They knew German. There were many occasions when they 
spoke German, I remember that. In fact, when we grew up as little 
kids, we spoke German, too. I can't tell you if we spoke German 
exclusively. I don't recall. But I know as little kids this big 
[Indicates several feet high], we learned German. I think we were 
bilingual, but I wouldn't swear to it. 

Dorfman: So at some point in your early life you must have been bilingual, 
even as you were learning English, if you didn't speak it 
immediately. 

Koshland: When we went to the grade schools, we certainly had to speak 
English there. 

Dorfman: You told me that you and your brother both attended Sunday school 
for about a year at Temple Emanu-El. 

Koshland: That's right, on Sutter Street. 
Dorfman: Did you know Rabbi Voorsanger? 



32 



Koshland: Yes, Jay Voorsanger. 
Dorfman: What kind of man was he? 

Koshland: Oh, he was a great student. But we didn't know him. I mean 

after all, we were too young to appreciate him as we should have 
appreciated him. But he was a great teacher and a highly 
respected person. 

Dorfman: Did he teach any of the classes you attended? 

Koshland: I don't recall his teaching any classes I attended, but I'm sure 
that the rabbi in those days taught some classes. But that's 
purely conjecture on my part. 



San Francisco Jews of Distinction 

Dorfman: Which Jews at that time were the most highly esteemed in the 
community? 

Koshland: Including my high school days in this respect? 
Dorfman: Yes. 

Koshland: We had Judge Marcus Sloss who was highly respected in those days. 
At some time in that period he was on the state supreme court. 
I would say he was outstanding. Julius Kahn, the congressman. 
Jesse Warren Lilienthal, Sr. was a highly respected attorney, 
and he was also president of the United Railroads at one time. 
That's the municipal car line,, I would also say that Mrs. Hattie 
Sloss rates consideration as being a top leader. 



Do rf man : 



Koshland: 



Mother's Expectations 

When we spoke last week, you were telling me about your mother's 
expectations for your brother. What about expectations for you 
and your sister? 

I think she simply took it for granted that I would eventually 
go into the family business, and my sister was brought up to be a 
lady. 



Dorfman: That was typical of those days? 



33 



Koshland: I think so. 

Dorfman: What did you want to do in those days? 

Koshland: I couldn't tell you. I have no recollection. 

Dorfman: You had no particular ambitions or dreams for the future for 
yourself? 

Koshland: No, I may have I probably did have some but I don't recall any. 

Dorfman: We hear now that many marriages in San Francisco were arranged 
years ago. How was that engineered? 

Koshland: I think because there is a certain social life [that] developed 

among the German Jewish families. I am thinking of them primarily. 
If they had an arrangement in mind, they probably worked it very 
carefully, throwing people together. The girl's parents would 
give parties periodically. I remember attending parties usually 
in the home. 

Dorfman: Whose homes, for example? 

Koshland: Well, Isaac Walter's home. Mrs. Edgar Sinton who just died was 
a Walter. She was interested in ballet dancing. I did a dance 
with her at a party. I remember that. I was Harlequin. Never 
again! [laughter] 

Dorfman: Why not? 

Koshland: Anyway, it was an experience. It influenced my life anyway. As 
a result of that experience, I enjoyed going to the ballet much 
sooner than I might otherwise have done. But we were thrown 
together in a certain grouping, and sometimes a fellow would go 
to a certain girl and I remember the family objecting. Arrangement 
by throwing people together by design. 

Dorfman: There are always certain tensions within communities. Sometimes 

they are social, sometimes religious, sometimes ethnic. What were 
the tensions within the Jewish community while your parents were 
active at Temple Emanu-El. 



Exclusion of Jews by Fraternities 



Koshland: I don't recall anything specifically. Of course, we were aware 
by experience that there was discrimination against the Jews in 
the world and in this country and in the school system. I was 



34 



Koshland: reasonably athletically inclined and I was not taken into a 

fraternity. There may have been other reasons too, but I knew 
it was typical of my colleagues, my peers of the day, that some 
were athletic and some were on teams. But when it came to the 
Greek letter fraternities in high school, it was persona non 
grata. 

The same thing in college. No Jews were invited to fraternities 
in college in those days. I remember distinctly in my senior year 
I was active on the swimming team at the university and in the 
College of Commerce Club. I remember an organizer came who said 
since I was a senior and there were quite a few Jews in college, 
why didn't we organize a group and form a Greek letter fraternity? 
I resented it and I objected and I refused. In fact, I spoke to 
quite a few friends, because I had taken a lot on myself in making 
a decision of that kind. I told my friends, the other Jews at the 
university, what had happened. I said, "I object strenuously," 
and they agreed with me. But a year or two later, after I graduated, 
they succeeded in forming a Jewish fraternity. 

Dorfman: What was the name of that fraternity? 

Koshland: I have heard of it often. I can't think of it at the moment. 

Dorfman: We'll come back to that. 

Koshland: I figured a religious group was wrong and Jews by and large did 
not join. They didn't join. Unfortunately, because of the 
discriminatory attitude from high school days on, they were self 
conscious. They resented the fact that they were discriminated 
against in that respect at least. So they tended to ghettoize 
themselves. They do to this day, in my opinion. I think they 
could have done more in assimilation if they hadn't been influenced 
by these factors and their parents. I objected to religious 
fraternity or sorority in college. We had a chance to mix with 
others. 

^le same thing when World War I came along. Some of them 
definitely figured this was a great opportunity for the Jews of 
America to assimilate. You wore the same uniform as anybody else, 
had the same opportunity as anybody else, to go ahead and make a 
place for yourself. But there were so many of them who refused 
to fraternize which I think was a great mistake. 

The same person, I think, was active and got to know the 
Jewish students who were there and got them to form a fraternity. 
But I succeeded keeping them out as long as I was there! 

Dorfman: Well, you really were effective, weren't you? 



35 



Koshland: For the time being; for at least one year. [laughs] 

Dorfman: The time in which you grew up is said to have been a formal time, 
more formal than today. In what way would you say that those 
times were more socially formal than those of today? 

Koshland: Certainly when it came to social life. You had parties, you had 
dances. Socially there was more formality. Now, of course, 
there is no formality at all in social life. It is very informal 
as I see it in my grandchildren. I think behaviorism was different 
in those days. Now you have complete liberation. In those days, 
there were certain unwritten rules of the game. If you took a girl 
out, you didn't expect to kiss her, you didn't expect to put your 
arm around her, you didn't expect to touch her. In fact, by and 
large, young fellows when they took girls out had to be chaperoned. 

Dorfman: Did you have chaperones? 

Koshland: I remember to a limited extent I would say so. You just didn't 
take a girl out. 

Dorfman: Who was usually the chaperone, the girl's mother? 

Koshland: Sometimes I would say. It's very vague in mind, but generally 

speaking the boy didn't take the girl out unless the parents gave 
their consent. 

Dorfman: What was the procedure for dating when you were young? 

Koshland: I would say it was a matter of getting consent. It's vague in my 
mind now. I may not be telling the truth correctly. But by and 
large if I took a girl out, the parents gave their consent. I may 
not have gone to the parents but the girl may have said, "I'll ask 
my mother, I'll ask my father if I can go." I think it extended 
that far 

Dorfman: Then when you took a young woman out on a date, what was the mode 
of transportation? Were you ever permitted to use that 
transportation alone with that young woman? 

Koshland: You would use public transportation. People didn't have automobiles, 
When I was at the university in later years I remember there were 
six automobiles on the campus; just six. 

Dorfman: Where did you take a young woman in those days on a date? 

Koshland: I imagine it may have been to a football game I don't think it 

was to theater and to dances. We had class dances at Lowell High 
School in 1910, I remember. Usually, we saw to it that every girl 



36 



Koshland: had a boy take her. I remember one of the girls in my class was 
Harriet Pasmore. Do you remember the Pasmore trio, the musical 
family? One was a girl who was about six feet- three or four, I 
think. There was a party two blocks away from my house, I 
remember, down on California Street and near Maple. At one of 
the parties there, a class party, they asked me to take Harriet 
home. I couldn't see myself taking her home. She was more than 
a foot taller than I was. I said, "Give me anybody else and I'll 
take her home." As it turned out, I took a girl named Marion Bell, 
I think it was, who lived clear on the other side of the city. 
So we took a streetcar and walked part of the way, and I came 
home that way. 1 remember that very well. 

Dorfman: You preferred going clear across to the other side of the city? 

Koshland: With the girl of my size. Mind you, there was nothing in taking her 
other than the fact that you had social company; no activity such 
as you have today. I remember that very well. Our dances for 
class parties were once a month or two months organized by the 
class itself, usually in somebody's home. 

Dorfman: So that they were group events? 

Koshland: Yes. 

Dorfman: Even if you went in pairs, you joined a group? 

Koshland: Generally speaking, yes, definitely. 



Lowell High School 



Dorfman: What can you tell me about Lowell High School? I know you 
graduated in 1910. What do you remember about Lowell? 

Koshland: I remember there were some good teachers. 
Dorfman: Who were they? 

Koshland: Frederick Clark, who later became principal, he was teacher of 

history. Archie Cloud and another one, Stevens, who was a lovely 
man. He came in my junior year. I'd say they stood out. I 
evidently felt I got something out of them because the one I hated 
very definitely in my freshman year 

The mistake that was made by my parents in retrospect, school 
closed in April at the time of the earthquake and didn't open 
again until the fall semester. We stayed down at Ocean Park that's 



37 



Koshland: the place which was absorbed by Santa Monica. We stayed down 
there until the opening of high school. My brother had been 
there one year and I was just entering high school. We were a 
month late and that was very bad for me. I was not a good 
enough student to pick up, and John Longley gave me an "F" in 
ancient history for failure or on condition. Whatever it was, 
I had to take it over again. But I always figured he was 
prejudiced against me (he was the man I told you about), because 
the next year I had Fred Clark as the teacher of ancient history. 
I took it all over again and he gave me perfectly satisfactory 
marks. So I hated John Longley! 

Dorfman: What interested you most in high school? 
Koshland: Being on the swimming team! [laughter] 

Dorfman: Was there any one course, any class, in which you were very 
interested? 

Koshland: In high school, no. 

Dorfman: Your interest was primarily athletic at that point. 

Koshland: I would say so. 

Dorfman: What kind of an education do you think you received at Lowell? 

Koshland: In retrospect, I would say it was a pretty good education much 

as I rebelled against some of it. I remember Mr. Thomas Peckham 
who taught literature. He made us memorize The Ancient Mariner . 
We memorized much that Shakespeare ever wrote. It drove me crazy, 
Now I can recite ad nauseam some of these things I learned in 
those days. 

Dorfman: Did most of your friends from Lowell go on to college. 

Koshland: Most of them did, I would say. Most of them went to either 
California or Stanford. 

Dorfman: You have seen some of those people throughout your adult life? 
Koshland: Yes, that's right. 



38 



II THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY 



Dorfman: Let's go on to your years at the university at Berkeley. Why did 
you choose to go to Berkeley? 

Koshland: My offhand response to that is that I didn't know anything and 

never considered anything different. I never thought of another 
option. I just took it for granted. I wasn't mature enough to 
do any thinking. 

Dorfman: What was it like to be a student there in those years? 

Koshland: For the first time, I was away from family, you might say, even 
though it was only across the bay. But I was away on my own. I 
had to make my own life to a limited extent. I think that was a 
factor that influenced me. I had to study. I got a liberal 
allowance from my father as my brother Dan did. We got a hundred 
dollars a month to live on. It included everything. Of course, 
there were no student fees in those days. We probably received 
much more pay than many other subsidized students. So we lived 
in relative luxury, but a hundred dollars had its limitations. 

I remember a popular tailor in Oakland was Louis Sheeline on 
Fourteenth Street. He charged forty dollars for a suit of clothes 
and we couldn't afford that. 

Dorfman: Did you make any new lasting friends while you were at Berkeley? 

Koshland: I met some. I would say if you want to carry on beyond Berkeley, 
some of them became very good friends through the alumni 
activities . 

Dorfman: Who were they? 

Koshland: There was Don McLaughlin oh, there were so many Roland Foerster, 
Loyal McLaren, Harold Nachtrieb. Ah, I am ashamed of myself. I 
can dig it out for you. The whole bottom drawer is the University 



39 



Koshland: of California. Isadora Sommer, Lawrence Livingston. Johnny 
Schoolcraft was the president of the class in our senior year 
and moved east to Connecticut. 

II 

Dorfman: There were some other classmates with whom you have kept up that 
you. wanted to mention. 

Koshland: Roswell Ham; he later became president of Mount Holyoke College 
in Massachusetts. He's retired now. He lives in Santa Barbara. 

Dorfman: You still have contact with him? 
Koshland: Yes, I do. 

Dorfman: You also mentioned another woman whose name was well known on the 
campus, Clotilde Taylor. Her maiden name was, you said, Grunsky. 
And you mentioned Coat Tail Taylor. You also told me that Archie 
Cloud (not a classmate) went on to quite a prestigious position 
here in San Francisco. 

Koshland: I think he became deputy superintendent of schools. He also was 
famous for having been one of the group that stole the Stanford 
ax at the turn of the century. 

Dorfman: An accomplishment! You lived in Berkeley at the time that you 
attended school, but you did return for weekends. 

Koshland: Generally speaking, yes. 
Dorfman: How did you spend those weekends? 

Koshland: I couldn't tell you anything in particular. If there was something 
social going on a party it could have been a party I would be 
invited to. There were no movies in those days. Well, there were 
nickelodeons, so I guess we'd go to nickelodeons once in awhile. 

Dorfman: Was there a reason why you did not spend the weekends in Berkeley? 

Koshland: I think you can say that since we weren't part of the social 

system, at least through the Greek letter fraternities, we didn't 
participate to the full extent that we should have. So therefore 
we came home for weekends. 

Dorfman: It must have been very difficult for those students who were not 
included and who didn't live close enough to return home for a 
weekend. 

Koshland: Right. 



40 



Dorfman: What did they do? 

Koshland: I don't know. Well, you had things to do in the San Francisco Bay 
area. You could go to the theater, come over here to the Geary 
Theater. There were some athletics, various entertainment 
facilities that existed in the city the theater, nickelodeons. 

Dorfman: Of course, there was only one way to come across the bay. 
Koshland: That's right, the ferry boat. 
Dorfman: What was that like? 

Koshland: It was always pleasant. I saw some beautiful sunsets coming home 
on a Friday afternoon. It was always a pleasant ride, but the 
interesting thing is you made just as good time then as you make 
now with BART. 

Dorfman: [laughs] And it was more pleasant! 

Koshland: Yes. 

Dorfman: Did the ferries run frequently? 

Koshland: Yes, very frequently; no problem there. 



A Student Apartment House 



Dorfman: You told me last week that you lived at an apartment house while 
you were in Berkeley. Why don't you tell me about that apartment 
house? 

Koshland: It was a three-story building at the southwest corner of Bancroft 
Way and Telegraph. That was a block from Sather Gate. That 
property was all private property until much later on when the 
university bought the property. Now Sproul Hall is there and the 
student union and that whole block. The only things in that 
block there were the vacant lots close to Sather Gate with Bill, 
the dog man, where you had hot dogs. That was about the only thing. 
There were one or two isolated buildings on the street. 

Dorfman: What was life in that apartment like for you as a young student? 



Koshland: 



The three of us lived, I think, on the second floor. Three of us 
classmates lived on the same floor. My brother with two friends 
lived on the third floor. It may have been the reverse, I'm not 
certain. We were very handy to the campus when we were going to 
a class. 



41 



Koshland: I can't say anything particular about it except one time, a very 

important incident. When boys were alone they tended to be profane 
on occasion and swear. I got notice from the landlady there that 
we would have to get out. It was too noisy [with] the swearing. 
Well, I talked her into reversing it. We established a fine of 
five cents everytime a boy was caught swearing. So we built a 
little can for nickels. I remember that. 

I remember one fellow who was one of my brother's partners. 
He was a very excitable fellow who will remain unnamed at the 
moment. He heard about this rule, he came into the apartment 
and I told him about the rule, that it would cost five cents if you 
swore. He had just come back from Europe. He had some brass 
knuckles. He came prepared. I told him it would cost him five 
cents and he started swearing on purpose. So I started fighting 
with him and all of a sudden I was being hit on the head with 
these brass knuckles he had gotten in France. I came close to 
killing him I was so mad. We both survived. [chuckles] 

Dorfman: Did you take your meals there as well? 

Koshland: No, next door was a "joint" that's the best way to describe it 
where we got hamburgers and hot dogs and steaks. It was good 
enough for us . 

Dorfman: And you survived! 

Koshland: We survived. 

Dorfman: Where did you usually study? 

Koshland: In our room. 

Dorfman: In your rooms rather than at the library in the evening? 

Koshland: No, I would stay away from the library [and study] in my own room. 
We all did. 

Dorfman: Were there many invitations from the faculty to students to visit 
in those days? 



Professors of Influence 



Koshland; 



My own experience is all I can tell you and I would say generally 
speaking, no, although there were two professors that entertained 
me and also my brother. One was Henry Senger. He was a German who 



42 



Koshland: had come to this country and my parents got to know him. He was 

a German scholar. He was quite a piano player of classical music, 
and he would invite my brother Dan and me to his house for dinner 
about once a month. We'd have a full meal which we enjoyed 
tremendously. Then he would play the piano afterwards, and after 
playing for possibly half an hour, he would say, "Now, boys, go 
home and do your studies." He was a very strict type. He was 
quite a person. 

The other one was Carl ton Parker who was mentioned by my 
brother in his memoir. He forgot to add J. Henry Senger. Whatever 
my brother said about Carlton Parker, I would say the same thing. 
He was a very real influence in my life. 

Dorfman: How did he influence you? 

Koshland: I think one influence was he made a fair student out of me. I 
was not really a good student, but I was fortunate enough to be 
in his seminar in my senior year limited to ten boys, it may have 
been twenty; I'm not certain. He would come into class and make 
a wild statement of some kind, nothing that he believed in himself. 
In two seconds we were chasing up to the library to reject what 
he had told us. He did it to make us study. It was a very clever 
device that he used, but we learned something as a result of it. 
As my brother wrote, we were in his home once in awhile. He had a 
lovely family, his wife and cute kids. Those two and another 
professor I mentioned I think last time was David Barrows, later 
president of U.C., Berkeley. 

Dorfman: Why was David Barrows influential in your life? 

Koshland: I think the way in which he presented his case, teaching us 

political science. It was more historical than anything else, I 
think. The way in which he lectured and so on impressed me 
more. That's all I can say. 

Dorfman: They were exciting instructors for you in those years? 

Koshland: For me they were because I was not naturally a good student. So 
I do remember the two or three who really impressed me 

Dorfman: Then it would have been their courses which most influenced you 
while you were at U.C., Berkeley? 

Koshland: Yes. 

Dorfman: Were there other courses that left a mark for you? 



43 



Koshland: Not particularly, I wouldn't say. However, I made a great mistake 
in my opinion. Number one, I think I was too immature to go to 
college when I went. I was seventeen years old and I think if 
I had taken another year, I would have been more mature. The day 
I graduated, I remember the commencement in the Greek Theater, I 
figured I had made a great mistake. I took forty hours of economics 
in order to be a good businessman. That was my feeling at the time. 
In retrospect, even on commencement day, I figured I had made a 
great mistake. I should have taken liberal arts. I should have 
taken philosophy. I should have taken entirely different courses, 
because I would say that by and large what I learned in economics 
went in one ear and out the other. I was too immature. 

Dorfiaan: How did you and your friends spend your leisure hours when you 
were at the university in Berkeley? 

Koshland: If there was a Saturday football game, we would always go to a 
football game. That was a sacrilege not to go to a game or a 
baseball game or a track meet. If it was anything athletic on a 
Saturday, we'd go. 

Dorfman: So that athletics played a large part in your life? 
Koshland: Yes, I think so. 



Swim Team Activity 



Dorfman: 



Koshland: 



What about your experiences on the swim team? 
please, about those? 



Could you tell me, 



In those days, when we entered, the university did not have a 
swimming pool. It had no swimming team. When some of us went 
in as freshmen, we had swum in high school, and we got together 
and formed a team. We went down to the YMCA on Shattuck Avenue 
and swam ther^i. We had very few meets because Stanford had no 
swimming team. There were one or two club teams we used to swim 
against. So it was very informal; not recognized. 

About our junior year, the university recognized swimming 
and opened the pool way up in Strawberry Canyon. They then 
recognized us as a minor sport. We had Circle ^'s. The varsity 
in the major sports had a _C, a certain shaped _C; a block letter 
but large and shaped in a certain manner. When we came along 
with an interest in swimming, they drew a circle around the _C as 
a minor sport. You'll see that in the Blue and Gold in those 
days. It shows that. But simply because we felt we wanted to 



44 



Koshland: continue swimming, we formed a team in our freshman year, and 

then it grew a little bit as the years went on. We finally got 
recognition. As I say, I think it was in our junior year,, 

Dorfman: That must have been an exciting time. 

Koshland: I remember I was so loyal to the swimming team. There was just a 
trail going up to the pool up at Strawberry Canyon, a dusty trail. 
I would hike up there almost every day and swim a quarter or a 
half a mile. We never had a coach. It didn't rate having a paid 
professional coach although we did have in our junior year and 
senior year, Ernest Bransten. He had been an Olympic diver, a 
national diver, in Sweden or Norway (I forget which), a Scandinavian 
country. But he was a semi-coach I would say. He taught divers 
anyway. So we did this all on our own and it didn't do us any 
harm. But that's one reason why we didn't swim better than we 
did, because there were no real professional coaches around in 
those days. The sport wasn't important enough. 

Dorfman: It certainly played "a large part in your life in those days. 

Koshland: It did in those days. I concentrated my interests a great deal 
in swimming. That was my ambition, to be a better swimmer than 
I was. 

Dorfman: You also told me that you joined the College of Commerce Club. 
Tell me about that club. 

Koshland: Oh, it didn't amount to anything. I guess we had monthly meetings. 
In my senior year, I think it became a Greek letter fraternity: 
Beta Gamma Sigma. I think because I was my brother's shadow and 
he was a good student he made Phi Beta Kappa and Beta Gamuia 
Sigma I think they figured because my brother was a good student, 
I might be a fair one. 

Dorfman: You're [being] modest again! 

Koshland: [laughs] No, I'm not! I wasn't that good a student, although 
in my last year or two my marks were okay. But I think I 
suffered going into high school a month late, and it stayed with 
me for some reason or other. I was slow to catch on. 

Dorfman: Certainly what you experienced in high school and entering the 
university early would have influenced your student years. 

Koshland: I think so. 

Dorfman: What role do you think your years at Berkeley at the university 
played in your life? 



45 



Alumni Association Permanent Secretary, Class of 1914 



Koshland: I moved away from here when I graduated. I moved to Boston. I 
was in the family business in Boston for sixteen years. I came 
back here in 1930. That's fifty years ago. I got involved pretty 
well in alumni matters at the time and a few years later, I was 
made permanent secretary of my class and I think that helped. 
I spent a certain amount of time reunion time and so on, social 
time with some of the members of the class. That influenced me. 

Dorfman: That has been very meaningful then. 

Koshland: Yes, it has been. 

Dorfman: How did your majoring in economics influence your life? 

Koshland: I don't think it had much of an influence at all. Probably it 

was good mental training, but so far as being a direct influence 
I'd question it. As I said before, I was too immature to appreciate 
what I was getting. I remember one professor who will remain 
unnamed. Every lecture he gave was a chapter in the book that he 
published, and that's not my idea of good teaching. Everybody 
fell asleep in his lectures. 

Dorfman: What do you think good teaching consists of? 

Koshland: A man who has a dynamic spirit and feeling as Carl Parker had. 

In other words, he inspired his students. He made them think and 
worked with them. I think you might say you shouldn't be talking 
down to people as some lecturers do. If you're in the field with 
them of course, you can't in this case but in my military 
experience I always had that feeling there is a way that you can 
get under the skin by demonstration. Of course, you can't do it 
in economics classes, but you can liven them up by relating 
certain policies and practices in a realistic manner to what is 
going on today in the world in which we live. 

My offhand guess is that relatively few of the teachers do 
that kind of thinking. But I may be very unfair. 

Dorfman: That takes real talent though, doesn't it? 

Koshland: I did some teaching in the army in World War I and I learned 
something through that experience. But that was later on. 



46 



An Evaluation of Education 



Dorfman: What would you say makes for a good education? 

Koshland: You have to have a desire, number one. Then you have to be 
willing to translate that desire into implementation to the 
extent of doing some research or exploration of your own, to 
bring things to relate them to what is going on now. 

Dorfman: What was it that left a strong impression on you at Berkeley? 

Koshland: I would say offhand, the long term result of association of 

learning from the two or three professors I've mentioned. I would 
think that. I wasn't a great athlete to remember, being a great 
football player or anything like that. So the athletic part was 
a secondary consideration. 

Dorfman: While you were at Berkeley, what campus issues were being 
discussed? 

Koshland: I don't remember offhand any campus issues, and . certainly we were 
an isolated group of people in Berkeley. We were not atuned to 
what was going on in the world around us. My grandchildren have 
all gone through college, all except one of them, and they were 
aware of what was going on in the world. They tend to be active 
and you can discuss world affairs, national affairs, and local 
affairs with them. I can with my grandchildren. But we were 
not conditioned in those days to think of the world around us. We 
were very, very parochial in that respect. We had to get our 
marks, we had to get through college. It was an academic life 
period. 

Dorfman: So that you didn't have a feel, you are saying, for world issues. 
How about for national issues? 

Koshland: No, I would say we were completely ignorant and disinterested. 
Dorfman: Were there famous speakers on the campus whom you remember? 

Koshland: Yes. The Charter Day commencement speaker always was some 

outstanding person, number one in particular, Teddy Roosevelt 
after he came back to this country having "discovered" the 
River of Doubt in Brazil. He lectured on the campus. I remember 
that very well. I say he lectured he gave a commencement address 
in the Greek Theater, the Charter Day commencement address. I 
can't remember any others at the moment. 

Dorfman: What do you remember about him? 



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Koshland: In some respects, he was a colorful person. You always remember 
San Juan Hill. 

Dorfman: We can go on to your business career in the woolen business. 



48 



III FOUNDING THE FAMILY WOOL BUSINESS, S. KOSHLAND AND COMPANY 



Koshland: Don't say woolen. We didn't deal in woolens. Wool raw wool. 

From that point on, the grading and sorting of wool, the function 
of making materials out of it, was carried on by other people. 
We merely were dealers in raw wool. 

Dorfman: How did you come to enter that business? 

Koshland: It dates back. My grandfather, Simon Koshland, came here and went 
to Sacramento. What he did at first, I don't know, but in a 
reasonably short time he had a storage business where he stored 
wool for sheep men. A sheep man would have the wool shorn 
annually, and then he would get through with that so he could go 
out mending his fences and fixing up his ranch. It was standard 
procedure among sheep men. So therefore, they would come into 
town and they would bring their wool in for storage and leave it 
with someone, very often to sell for them. My grandfather stored 
wool for sheep men. 



The Raw Wool Business 



Koshland: They evidently had faith in his integrity. So they would leave 
their wool with him and let him do the selling. Then he thought 
here is the way to make more than storage money, so he got into 
the business of buying wool and then selling it. Whatever wool he 
bought, he would ship on to Boston to J. Koshland and Company. 
[It would be] for sale in Boston because there were no mills here. 
There was one that was started in San Francisco years ago and that 
failed. 

It's going to be complex for you to understand what I am 
saying. The wool that comes off the sheep's back varies from 
60 to 80 percent in wasted material dirt from the wind would blow 
on the sheep throughout the year. On top of that, the sheep would 



49 



Koshland: perspire. That's called grease. The combination of the grease 
and the dirt in the wool, when it came to washing the wool, it 
lost 60 to 70 percent or 80 percent in some cases in weight. 

So we would buy wool in the West. We had to figure within 
2 percent you had to know the wool, that's where your expertise 
would come into it how much it would shrink in weight in the 
washing. You couldn't sell it after it was washed except for a 
very few woolen mills. So therefore, you had to figure that and 
therefore, if you're willing to pay on the basis of let's say a 
dollar a clean pound in Boston, you would deduct from that on the 
basis of shrinkage (what you lose in weight) , you only have thirty 
pounds of wool for the hundred pounds that you bought. Therefore, 
many sheep men out West thought, "We're being deprived of that 
difference. We want to wash the wool here and save having to be 
penalized the cost of the freight." 

The Midwest has places where they tried that out and it didn't 
work, because the worsted mills wouldn't buy washed wool. There's 
a certain amount of mixing when you are making a worsted cloth 
like this. It takes certain kinds of wool, certain blends. It 
only can be done when you have the wool in the grease, in the 
original state. 

Up in western Oregon there were several that survived all 
this, but they would buy other wools, too; Pendleton you've heard 
of Pendleton wools. So there are few mills up there that have 
survived and have made a go on it. But by and large, it didn't 
work. You have to sell. That's where we came in as middle men. 
We bought the wool from the sheep men normally, shipped it onto 
Boston, and then mixed it with other wools. We mixed them with 
the other wools from the same area that measured up to generally 
accepted standards. You have graders at a bench and you take one 
fleece off one sheep. You break that down to about thirteen 
different kinds of wool long, short thickness by fiber. So you 
develop an expertise in wool and knowing where it comes from. Wools' 
spinning qualities will vary from area to area. 

For illustration take Oregon where I used to go, all of Oregon, 
buying wool. But some wools were long and some wools were short, 
some wools were thicker than others, but you get to know the 
region. One region in Oregon is Butter Creek a few miles away 
from an area along the Columbia River. The Columbia River has a 
heavy sand that got in the wool and made it shrink up to 90 percent 
in the washing. You had to figure that, know your country. Very 
close to that is Butter Creek where your wools were beautiful wools 
and they shrank much less. 



50 



Koshland: Now, since that time they have developed some mechanical devices 
to measure wool more accurately than we did. But we would sell 
in Boston. We would grade wool and put like wools together from 
New Mexico or California or Oregon or wherever, Wyoming, Montana. 
Those that fit together we would grade together. We would have 
a half million pounds of one kind of wool, a half blood, staple, 
french combing length, and so on. But now they have mechanical 
devices that measure much more accurately than we ever did. 

So the middle man was put out of business in Boston. He 
didn't survive. That is what Carl Parker taught us when I was 
in college. He said that about the middle man's place in the 
economy of the country, he would cite not this particular case 
with wool but similar cases. 

Dor f man: He predicted 

Koshland: What happened. I remember coming home to my father and saying 
to my father, "Get out of business. You are doomed." Well, it 
wasn't while he was alive but it came later on, not too many 
years later. Carl Parker was right. 

Dorfman: You joined the Koshland wool business then immediately after 
graduation. 

Koshland: When I returned from Europe 



A European Trip After College Graduation, 1914// # 



Dorfman: You were telling me about the trip that you took after graduation 
in 1914. You said that this was a maiden voyage for this ship? 

Koshland: Yes, the ship was the Vaterland. Cuxhaven was the port of Hamburg, 
as I recall. The ship had come to New York and on the return trip 
of this maiden voyage I was a passenger. That was in the middle 
of May of 1914. I visited my brother who was working in a bank in 
Berlin at the time, and then went to Paris. Then my mother shipped 
my sister and me out. She picked up a French maid. [chuckles] 
She went along as our chaperone, I guess to Belgium and Holland 
and up the Rhine River to Switzerland, the three of us. While in 
Switzerland at St. Moritz, a famous ski place, World War I broke 
out on July 28, 1914. For a day or two prior to that, all of the 
Germans there had gone home. The place had emptied out pretty 
well. We were on a trip from there over the mountains (I forget 
the name of the places), and I called the trip off and joined my 
parents then in Lucerne. 



51 



Koshland: The war was on. We spent a month in Lucerne and I had the time 
of my life swimming and playing tennis. While we were there my 
brother sent a telegram telling us not to go to Paris, thinking 
that the Germans would be there ahead of us. We got out finally. 
Most Americans panicked* The war was going on. The Germans were 
rushing through Belgium and Holland with great success. 

We went back to Paris on about July 24. My mother bought some 
clothes there. She didn't panic. My father spoke to a banker 
there and he said not to worry. They were wrong, too. We got the 
last train out of Paris, presumably, on August 31. 

I should say that on the morning of August 31 we went 
to the Card du Nord. We had tickets presumably to go to the 
seacoast at Cherbourg, I guess it was, and then take a boat to 
London (Dover to London) . We got to the Card du Nord and the 
Germans had moved so fast during the night they had taken Amiens 
which was sixty kilometers from Paris, during the night. There 
were no trains going. We went back to the hotel and finally found 
out there was a train going to Le Havre. We could get an overnight 
boat from Havres to Southampton which we took. We had gotten out 
a week later to the day. It was September 6 when the Germans 
reached the outskirts of Paris at Meaux. Do you remember the 
taxicab army? Saved the French people. 

So there was that. But that one month in Lucerne, I had a 
grand time. There were three thousand other Americans there, 
one of whom I played tennis with every day, my friend Harold Bache. 
That's where I met him. The other was Herman Phleger whom you 
know. With Herman I played international tennis there such as 
it was! I never was any good. Herm was a great athlete. We 
remind each other whenever we see each other about the old tennis 
days in Lucerne. 

Dorfman: Well, you certainly were right in the middle of World War I then, 
weren't you? 

Koshland: We were on the fringe of it. When we got there we let my brother 

know we were going to Paris. He sent a telegram, saying, "Don't go." 
He knew from the German side of it a picture of what was going to 
happen. It was dangerous and he urged us not to go to Paris at 
all because it was going to be taken over in no time flat, and 
they were right. It was simply a matter of timing. 

We left Paris and got to London on September 1 and a day or 
two later my brother joined us in London. We were there until the 
middle of October. 



52 



Koshland: So we got a little flavor of the war going on because the English 
got into the act. August 4 they had joined the allies. So we were 
in London during all of this time. 

Dorfman: What did you do while you were in London? 

Koshland: We did some sightseeing. I spent a good part of the time going down 
to Thomas Cook & Sons, because we had tickets that were no good. 
Trying to get other accommodations was a problem. All the 
Americans were fighting to get places on the ships going out, the 
passenger ships. So it took a degree of persuasiveness and 
patience. We finally got out the middle of October. We were there 
six weeks . 

Dorfman: Were you happy to leave? 

Koshland: Well, under the circumstances, sure we were. As soon as we went 
back, I then reported for duty in the business in Boston. They 
shipped me up to Lawrence, Massachusetts to work in a scouring 
plant there. That's another phase. If you want to stop at this 
point and start the business career at that point. Is that easier 
for you, too? 

Dorfman: That's fine. 



Apprenticeship in Lawrence, Massachusetts//// 
[Interview 3: December 5, 1980] 



Dorfman: You were telling me about the family wool business. You said that 
after your graduation from the university you entered that business, 

Koshland: That is correct. After graduation from the university, I joined 
the family in Europe and was there for several months from May 
to October. Then in October, I went to Boston and the members of 
the family promptly sent me up to Lawrence, Massachusetts to work 
on a wool scouring plant and learn something about wool. I was 
there from October of 1914 until February of 1915. I worked there 
as an apprentice. I was not paid anything. There are some 
interesting stories in connection with that. While I worked for 
E. Frank Lewis Company it was a wool scouring plant. 

Dorfman: What were your duties? 



53 



Koshland: I started by trucking South American thousand pound bales around 
and getting onto the sorting board and sorting wool. A fleece 
in the terminology of the business is the wool taken off of one 
sheep. So we take a fleece, open it up, and break it down to 
about thirteen different grades. It's graded for length, for 
thickness of fiber, the condition all of these different factors. 
So you learn about wool by handling it in that fashion. In 
connection with that, you may be interested to know this 
incident. 

Next to me on the sorting board was a chap named Al Lincoln 
who was a member of one of the old Brahmin families in Boston. He 
was just out of Harvard and I was just out of Cal. So naturally 
just out of college, we knew all the affairs of the world and 
settled them while sorting wool! I remember him saying to me one 
day, "You fellows from the West are better mixers than we are. You 
are 'hail fellows well met' but you haven't got the background" 
which is typical of the old Brahmin attitude and the Cabots and 
the Lowells and the Lodges. That was that incident. 

Another incident not connected with the wool business at all 
took place in 1915 or 1916. There was a man on Boston who had 
nothing to do with the business whatsoever. This was in 1915 or 
1916 and World War I was on in Europe. We were not in it. There 
was a man named Benny Kebatznik who had a. store it had all kinds 
of artifacts. I wouldn't call it antiques. 

Anyway, it was on Boylston Street in Boston. World War I was 
on and naturally in New England people were much closer to it. 
People were divided in their loyalties to the allies, the English 
or the French, and the people with German background who were 
sympathetic to the German point of view. But New England, of 
course, was overwhelmingly pro-Ally. 

This man, Benny Kebatznick, was a perfectly good person. He 
went to court to change his name to Cabot. Naturally, that raised 
the devil with the old Boston families, changing his last name to 
Cabot. There is an old saying in Boston, "Come to Boston, the 
home of the fish and the cod, where the Lowells speak only to the 
Cabots and the Cabots speak only to God." A. Lawrence Lowell, 
president of Harvard, after World War I in 1919 at a dinner in 
the Harvard Club in Boston and in an after dinner speech said, 
"It's no longer the old slogan, 'Come to Boston, the home of the 
fish and the cod, where the Lowells speak only to the Cabots and 
the Cabots speak only to God.'" He changed it. He said, "Now it's 
'Come to Boston, the home of the fish and the cod, where Lowells 
speak only to Cabots and the Cabots speak Yiddish by God!" So 
much for that. Now, let's get back to the business! 



54 



Dorfman: You were telling me about your duties during this apprenticeship 
in the scouring plant. 

Koshland: I think it was in February of 1915 when both of us were kicked 
out. They had had enough of us. So I went back to Boston. I 
was a sample boy in the business [J. Koshland and Company] for 
some months. In 1916, during the beginning of the wool buying 
season, in what was called "the territories" the wools were 
called territory wools by and large. I was sent out with the 
senior buyer of the firm. We went to Oregon, Washington, Idaho, 
and Montana. That took three or four months. That was 1916. 
After I came back from the army in World War I, they sent me out 
on my own in the West from May through July. 



Wool Buying West of the Mississippi in 1916 for J. Koshland 
and Company 



Dorfman: What were your duties when you went out with the senior buyer? 

Koshland: We would go out to ranches. You normally follow the shearing 
season when they sheared wool. They started around January in 
Texas and worked north with the sun. At certain times of the year 
they do certain things, the sheep men. I was in Oregon and 
Washington in late May or early June; in May and June, -Oregon, 
Washington, and Idaho. Then by the middle of June, I moved up 
to Montana and I covered the whole Great Northern Railroad area 
of the state. We had five or six buyers. I was alone in that 
area. There were other buyers alone in Montana, which had 
highly desirable wool. 

Dorfman: When you say you were alone in that area, you mean when you 
returned after World War I. 



Koshland: Yes. 

Dorfman: While you were learning, when you were with these senior buyers, 
how did you travel? 

Koshland: By train mostly; very little by automobile. You take a train to 
certain places. Montana was different from Idaho and Washington. 
In Montana I would go by train all hours of the day or night, 
because in these little towns of two or three hundred or a 
thousand people the train may stop there at 2 A.M. or 4 A.M. 
You get off and when you left the town a day or so later, you 
get [back] on the trains at those hours. The hours are very 
irregular based unpon train timetables. [tape interruption: 
telephone rings] 



55 



Koshland: If you didn't have an automobile, you'd get off the train (after 
a season, you know people) , and you get a sheep man to take you 
around. He's interested in what you're going to do, how much 
you're going to pay the other sheep men. They want top figures. 
So you pick out a man who is more friendly, who is willing to take 
you around. He would be curious. Of course, if the price was 
thirty cents a pound, he wanted to get a full price. A clip is 
the total wool that one man is producing. One flock of sheep 
is about fifteen hundred sheep, so an important consideration was 
the size of the clip, as well as its quality and characteristics. 
Men who only had ten sheep around the house for the children and 
for other reasons weren't important. Unless we could buy in 
carload lots, we didn't pay much attention to it. A full carload 
was a minimum of 26,000 pounds and the top carload held 50,000 
pounds. So you are buying related to the size of the clip as 
well as its quality. The competition was very keen. There were 
probably a dozen buyers vying with each other, each one trying to 
outguess the other. It was a strenuous time, those months I was 
out West on a buying expedition. I was glad when it was over at 
the end of July and I could come back and relax. 

Dorfman: Was it usually a seller's market? 

Koshland: It varied from year to year. It could be a seller's market one 
year and a buyer's market another. The competion was very keen. 
I remember most of the buyers stayed at the Rainbow Hotel in 
Great Falls, Montana during the Montana period. The trains went 
out of Great Falls mostly around 9:30 or 10:00 at night. Now, 
the buyers were very friendly. We'd have dinner together. We'd 
gradually slip out without letting anyone know we were slipping 
out. It was up to the individual to guess where his competitors 
were going because you could go in four different directions by 
train. They all left between nine and ten o'clock at night. 
The telephone operator was definitely instructed not to give any 
information about who was in and who was out. So the next morning 
if a certain competitor wasn't around, I knew he left the night 
before. Then I'd have to guess the direction in which he went 
and whom he was going to see. It was quite a game. 

But the interesting thing about it was the fact that we'd 
all have dinner or meals together, whoever was in town. It made 
the sheep men very suspicious that we collaborated. That sort of 
thing was done in the early days long before I camp into the 
business. There was collaboration which was definitely anti 
trust in nature. But when I was in the business, the competition 
was very keen. There was no collaboration at all, although there 
were individual cases. But there was very little of it. So you 
had to put your thinking cap on. 



56 



Sealed Bids 



Koshland: There was one practice called sealed bids. We'd all meet at a 
certain place at a certain time by arrangment where the sheep 
man would announce that he would hold a sealed bid sale on such 
and such a date, place and time. We'd all go together to his 
shed at his ranch or wherever the wool was , examine it while it 
was being shown primarily and put in sealed bids. One of the 
good buys I made I won't tell you about the bad buys I made 
[laughter] one of the good buys I made was when we went down to 
Wolf Point in Montana. There was a certain clip of wool that was 
about 170,000 pounds. There was a man named S. Sprinkle [spells 
name]. We examined his wool and there was keen competition. This 
one big buyer from Boston, my main competitor, was a monopolist 
at heart. Each man would in turn go to the sheep man behind all 
of his stacks of wool all in bags and try to get his ideas and 
try to guess from his conversation what the man before him has 
offered. Wool was very high in that year. That was in 1919. It 
was a sixty-cent market; sixty cents a pound. 

I tried to guess my competitor, a rival firm, and I hit on 
the head perfectly. I happened to figure, this is a beautiful 
clip of wool and there is going to be keen competition. I tried 
to figure what this particular person was doing. I knew he would 
bid higher than anybody else. So I figured he would go to sixty- 
one cents and I thought, "Well, he'll play it safe. He'll make 
it safe for himself. He'll go to sixty one and a quarter cents." 
I bid sixty-one and three-eights cents. I was absolutely right 
in my thinking. Don't think I was as good any other time. 

So when we went by automobile to go back to the town, Wolf 
Point, Montana, he said, "What did you bid?" The amount had not 
been announced. The owner, the sheep man, simply had announced 
that Koshland was the winner. I took the little slip that the 
sheep man gave me back and I said, "There's my bid, Joe." He 
said, "Quit your kidding. Show me your real bid." He wouldn't 
believe me. I said, "That's the truth; that's what I did." 
Well, he felt ashamed. For a clip of 170,000 pounds I won it by 
a very small fraction, an eighth of a cent a pound. He was so mad 
at me. Afterward I said, "I'll get hell for it. I had raised my 
limit given by Boston." He said, "Well, if you're going to get 
hell I'll take half of it off your hands if you want to." I said, 
"No, I'll get just as much hell for half of it as I would for all 
of it." 

The funny part of it was I left town that night and went to 
another area, west on the Great Northern, to see some other sheep 
man. I bought a clip of wool for fifty cents a pound. It was a 



57 



Koshland: a poorer buy than the other one in the sixties! There was so 

much variation. I showed the sheep man the contract, what I paid 
the day before, and we had bought his wool for years. I said, 
"I'd like to pay the same but I can't. He knew the condition of 
his wool was not good, but he thought he'd have to sacrifice 
maybe three or four cents a pound. I bought his wool for fifty 
cents and I was ashamed in doing it. I was very unhappy about it 
because I knew he felt that I was a robber. So there was that 
much variation in the price of wool. 

Dorfman: Were your relationships generally good with the ranchers despite 
such an incident as you describe? 

Koshland: Generally speaking. You get to see them every year and they get 
to figure, well, he's a nice guy; he's a decent sort of person. 
But that played very little part. I would say the sheep men had 
more confidence in certain people. As a matter of fact, on the 
Sprinkle case, we had the railroad men load the wool for us 
because they wanted us to route the wool on their railroad. There 
are two or three different routes for freight going to Boston 
from Montana. It goes to Chicago by one line and then is 
transferred to another line to go to Boston. 

They would load the wool and we'd get their bill of lading 
and they would ship it the way we told them to ship. After the 
Sprinkle wool got to Boston, [we found] his men had made a mistake 
in weighing the wool and he had not added his totals up properly 
and I had paid Sprinkle on the basis of 12,000 pounds less than 
he had coming to him. So I sent him a check for around $8,000. 
The funny part of it was that he never wanted to show his wool to 
anyone but me, but the wool deteriorated in quality so I didn't 
want his wool! 

Dorfman: When you traveled to other states, did you also stay at hotels? 

Koshland: We stayed in hotels, yes. A few times I stayed out at ranches 

with the sheep men. That was always enjoyable because the sheep 
men varied so. Some were real rough necks and some we". e I won't 
say illiterate but they were not as well educated. On the other 
hand, there were a few who had gone to college and were very 
knowledgeable people. So you make your friends and you make your 
enemies. 



58 



Covering Montana 



Dorfman: 



Koshland: 



Dorfman: 



Which was the most interesting of the states that you traveled to 
when you were buying? 

I'd say Montana. Of the states that I covered, I enjoyed Montana 
the most. But the distances were greater and the first year I 
was there I paid a lot of money for having to hire a car to go out 
to sheep ranches. But after the first year, I got to know these 
people. I would tell the man that I hoped I would buy his wool, 
and then he would be willing to meet me and take me around 
himself. It made a big difference, even though the dollar had 
more value than it has today. 

I can remember one case where there was one sheep man who 
was pretty much of a rough neck in style. He was not an educated 
person at all. The next night I would stay at a ranch where the 
sheep man was a very religious person. So there were all kinds. 



So you certainly met a variety of people, 
like for the ranchers? 



What was family life 



Koshland: They all had families. The boys were working for them and the girls 
worked and the wife worked. After all, you had men working for 
you, herdsmen. So you had a fairly good sized table But the 
wife was the one who did the cooking. They have herders there out 
with the sheep, out on the range. They would eat out of a kind of 
wagon, a Conestoga. Out in the west you see pictures of the old 
days. Conestoga I think is the type of wagon drawn by horses. 

Dorfman: From which the ranch hands are fed? 

Koshland: They may be way out in the sticks because they used forest range 
by arrangement with the government. The sheep man leased the 
forest range for fodder for sheep. So they moved them around, 
carefully planned, from one area to another area so they could 
feed off the ground. 

Dorfman: Who helped you the most on your first job the early days of your 
work with the company? 

Koshland: When I came back to Boston, for the rest of the eight or nine 



months, the job was selling, 
could single out at all. 



I can't remember anyone that I 



Dorfman: But you did receive good guidance. 



59 



Koshland: I think I did. You are left to your own. You have a job to do 

and you either did or you didn't do it. I can't remember any one 
person in particular who was more helpful than anybody else. 

I wasn't a great person in the job. I did my job reasonably, 
I think, but I wasn't a great buyer and I wasn't a great seller. 

The selling business is very interesting in this respect, 
that is in the way we ran our business. We did it differently 
from any of our competitors. We had very few customers and they 
were big customers. That was our particular way of doing business. 
We didn't have any salesmen. The selling was all done by members 
of the firm. 

Dorfman: Who were your customers? 

Koshland: The American Woolen Company was our biggest customer. New England 
was a market center on account of water power in those days. 
Before they had electric power, mills were centered around water 
power rivers, cascades. But most of the mills were small mills. 
There were a few very large ones and we would go after them and 
sell them wool. Then there was a secondary market around 
Philadelphia. So I was sent there. 

The interesting thing about it is that as I learned, I remember 
one big mistake I made. Here I would go to Philadelphia and be in 
touch with the main buyer of a mill. I would try to sell him that 
I came from a house that had been in business for years, J. Koshland 
and Company, and I think it was a respected firm. But I had to 
start from scratch and I did no business with him for a long time 
until he gained confidence in me personally. The very first thing 
that happened in most of the mills when I went the first time, the 
buyer would say, "Did you bring your golf clubs?" I said, "No, I'm 
a tennis player. I don't play the game of golf." That was a 
great mistake that I made because golf was a very important factor 
in business. Had I been a golfer, I would have been playing golf 
with these people and gotten their confidence and friendship which 
was a very important factor. That was a mistake I made. It took 
me a long time before I made any worthwhile sales. 

Dorfman: But you did learn from that mistake? 

Koshland: I did learn, but I didn't change. I didn't switch from tennis to 
golf. That I did not do. So I paid for my stubbornness! 

Dorfman: But you accomplished the same thing in a different way? 



60 



Koshland: I don't think I accomplished a great deal. No, I don't. When 
we wound up at the end, when we liquidated our business, two 
customers from the Philadelphia area helped tremendously I made 
two sales, I remember; one [for] a half a million pounds and one 
[for] a quarter a million pounds, which is a good-sized sale, 
to clean out some wools we had. One of my many visits paid off 
best at that particular time. 

Dorfman: Were you well paid by the company in the early days after your 
apprenticeship? 

Koshland: When I came back from Lawrence and became sample boy I got a 

hundred dollars a month, and I think that continued until 1917. 
They continued that pay while I was in the army, I went in 1917 
and I only got out in the tail end of 1918. Then I got $5,000 
a year when I came back after winning the war single handed! 
[laughter] 



Partnership in the Firm 



Koshland: Then to carry on, to say how much I got, in 1922 1 was admitted as 
a member of the firm,, I had been an employee all of this time, but 
in 1922 they admitted me as a general partner. 

* 

My father was alive and he gave up a good deal of his interest 
in my favor. So I got part of his portion and there was a 
rearrangement of the shared interest of each of the partners. 

Dorfman: He must have had a great deal of confidence in your ability then. 

Koshland: I wouldn't say so, no. As I look back on it many, many times, 
I felt that they made a mistake in not training me more. They 
left it up to me entirely, my natural ability whatever it may 
have been. I think had they embarked on a planned program I 
would h?ve done better. I think. 

Dorfman: Training in which area particularly? In the buying and the selling? 

Koshland: In the buying you have to use your natural talents. In the buying 
you are dealing with sheep men. As I told you, they varied in 
style and manner of living. So you learn as you go along on your 
own. In the selling I can't answer. 



61 



Dissolution of J. Koshland and Company: Another View 



Dorfman: What were the problems of such a family business? 

Koshland: Your main problem is and that's where I'd like to straighten out 
the oral history of my brother. He gives the indication in this 
that we were able to hold onto wool when the market was low and 
wait until the market was high and sell it. Well, it was not true. 

## 

Koshland: As a matter of fact, at the tail end when we were liquidating the 
business in 1930, I checked our records for the last ten years. 
In that ten year period, we made money three years, we lost money 
three years, and broke even four years. My brother gave the 
impression that we had enough control and by patience could always 
make a profit. That's not true at all. We had to judge the market. 
We had to sell throughout the years. The mills needed the wool and 
the market varied. So we sold at the market. We presumably were 
good enough salesmen to get full market value. But the market 
may be on an upturn or a downturn, just like the stock market. So 
it was a matter of buying successfully and selling successfully. 
But that's one reason why we got out of the business because the 
risks were too great. What I just told you tells a story. We 
made money, we made big money. We lost money, we lost big money. 
We "broke even" speaks for itself. 

II 

Dorfman: Is there something else that you wanted to add to this particular 
period when you were in the family business? 

Koshland: Yes, this also relates to something my brother had in his oral 
history. It was in the fall of 1929 when we, the partners, got 
together and decided to liquidate the business. We told our 
buyers very confidentially what was going to happen, I mean half 
a dozen. The others could find jobs perfectly well. We paid _our 
buyers well. I hate to tell you what the amount was, but they 
we^-e probably the highest paid buyers in the business. But the 
standards in those days were quite different. In our case, it 
was a closed affair in our family business. Buyers could not 
become members of the firm. It was that closed. As I said, the 
partners in the business were the only owners. Now, in the case 
of our competitors, the buyers that were good were brought in as 
members of the firm. So therefore, we probably paid more to our 
buyers on a monthly basis and an annual basis than our competitors 
did. 



Anyway, we told our buyers in confidence what we were going 
to do so they could start out and join some other organization 
and not be hurt. Well, it leaked out immediately that we were 



62 



Koshland: going to go out of business. It went up and down the street 
because it was something that was of interest to the whole 
field. 

That's where ray brother was wrong because we decided on our 
own in the fall of 1929 to liquidate our business, and only two 
or three months later the stock market crashed, and we went into 
a severe depression. But that had nothing to do with us. My 
brother's story is that we were hurt by the Depression and we 
liquidated our business because of it. It was not true. We had 
made the decision before the Depression came along. That lasted 
through 1932-33, longer than that. That will come up later on. 

H 

Dorfman: You said also that another reason for getting out of the business 
was the advent of technology. 

Koshland: Yes, but not then. That came a little later. What happened was 
that including my dear friend up there [photograph on wall], 
Harold Bache, who was then J.S. Bache and Company in New York 
he was an expert in dealing in futures and the futures market 
in New York. He was the first one to try to get the Boston wool 
trade to deal in futures. They were like ostriches and they 
wouldn't change and we 'wouldn' t. We closed the business. But they 
succeeded. He was right, we were wrong. This goes back to Carl 
Parker. My brother speaks of Carl Parker. We were told by Carl 
Parker, a professor of economics, that the middlemen in business 
are going to go out of business. They are going to be replaced by 
a different method of selling. He was right. 

Dorfman: Yes, you mentioned it as well, the day of the middleman was over. 
Who would you say was dominant within the business? 

Koshland: In our firm? 
Dorfman: Yes. 

Koshland: My uncle, Abraham Koshland. He wr.s the one member of my father's 
brothers who went to Harvard. 

Dorfman: What special characteristics did he have that made him the leader? 

Koshland: He -,;as a lovable man. He was a bright man and president of the 
Boston Wool Trade Association,, He was a hard worker and lovable. 
But he was a wonderful man. 



Dorfman: What would you say that the characteristics of a business leader 
would be? 



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63 



Koshland: Industry, integrity, and warmth in your nature. In other words, 
you set the example: By devoting yourself and showing the proper 
amount of dedication to the organization that you belong to and 
so by industry, by example, by efficiency and a warm manner toward 
all people in the organization both above and below you. You have 
to have the respect of the people. That's a curbstone response. 

Dorfman: So that it truly is leadership by model. 

Koshland: Right. 

Dorfman: Did your firm ever handle hides? 

Koshland: In the branch in San Francisco they did for awhile, but they got 
out of it and they also had Calcutta bags jute bags they dealt 
in. But they got out of that before I came into the business. 

Dorfman: Why was that? Why were they dropped? 
Koshland: I couldn't tell you. It probably didn't pay. 
Dorfman: How many people were employed by the firm in Boston? 

Koshland: About forty. Oh, in the clerical end about three and the wool end 
had heavy graders who worked the year around to handle the wool 
in bulk. Each team had a leader, a superintendent. I'd say about 
twenty to twenty-five of them; thirty people altogether directly 
employed in Boston. We had a half a dozen buyers in Boston; 
Thirty or thirty-five people. We had buyers out in the West but 
they got a commission on what they purchased a quarter of a cent 
a pound mostly. 

Dorfman: Were they directly employed by the firm? 

Koshland: I'd say in modern language they were independent contractors. We 
had a few buyers from Boston, the numbers I gave you. A half a 
dozen had certain districts they covered, but we also had some who 
were independent contractors who bought for us on a commission 
basis . 

Dorfman: What were the areas of difference of opinion within the firm? 
Certainly in every firm no one agrees all of the time. 

Koshland: I would say that my Uncle Abe Koshland was more of an optimist 
and my Uncle Jesse Koshland was definitely a pessimist. 

Dorfman: [laughs] They balanced each other then! 



64 



Koshland: They did. Jesse Koshland went to Cal, so there were three of us 
who were University of California graduates: Jesse Koshland, 
Stanley Sinton, and yours truly. 

Dorfman: How did you relate with the San Francisco branch of the firm? 

Koshland: My father, who was the second oldest of my grandfather's sons, 

stayed in San Francisco. We kept the branch open mainly because 
of my father, it started there, and because he always used the 
name S.J. Koshland & Company in San Francisco . It operated in 
Oregon and Nevada as well as California for buying wool. As 
long as my father was there it was kept open. But it wasn't 
necessary. You could handle it just as well from Boston as from 
San Francisco. 



The Limits of Social Participation for Jews in Boston 



Dorfman: How did you find life in Boston after having grown up in the West? 

Koshland: Well, I'd say it was more conservative. My main criticism was 
of not my life, but the way of life in Boston. There was a 
definite distinction between the two-thirds Irish Catholics and 
the relatively small number of Brahmins. Those were the Cabots 
and the Lodges. So far as the oldtimers were concerned, there was 
a series of concentric circles. The insiders were the Lowells, 
the Cabots, and the Lodges. There was no mixture in social life 
at all as you see in San Francisco. The Jews were kept out for 
years until the immigration of the eighties. It wasn't allowed 
the Jewish population was very small until the eighties. They were 
really kept out of things. Even in later years when I was in 
Boston, there was no social life between the different groups. 

Dorfman: Did you enjoy life in Boston as a young man? 

Koshland: I did. 

Dorfman: What kinds of things did you do when you weren't working? 

Koshland: I carried [on] my swimming interest. That will come up in due 

time, no doubt. I swam in college and joined the Brookline Swimming 
Club. I swam; I had no [other] particular interest I can 
recall. Then in 1920 I got married and brought a bride back 
there early in 1921. That changed my social life, naturally. 

Dorfman: Prior to your marriage, where did you live when you went to Boston? 
Koshland: I lived in a hotel. 



65 



Dorfman: How long did you live there? 

Koshland: Until I was married. 

Dorfman: Did you take your meals out? 

Koshland: Yes. 

Dorfman: How did you meet people of your own age? 

Koshland: Well, that's a story. When I landed there, there were three 

families, the Abe Koshlands and Jesse Koshlands. Stanley Sinton, 
my cousin, was ten years older than I was. They all had their 
friends. They saw to it that I met nice, young Jewish people in 
my age group. I retained that close friendship throughout my 
whole period in Boston. However, I recognized the fact that they 
were introducing me to the people they thought I should meet. I 
rebelled at that and made my own friends. There was a group in 
my swimming club that I used to go with, to a limited extent, and 
another group of good friends of Harvard and Yale people whom I met 
on my own. I got into philanthropic activity right off the bat, 
in 1915 anyway, even long before World War I. Yes, I did. I got 
active in some things in the community and I met interesting young 
people, fine young people, in my age group. I saw more of them 
than I saw of anyone else. 



Swim Club and Activity in Boston, Massachusetts 



Dorfman: Tell me about your activity on this swim team in Boston. 

Koshland: When I first landed in Berkeley in 1910, there were at least a 

half a dozen or a dozen of us who would had swum in high school. 
The university had no swimming pool. It had no swimming team. 
We got together and we formed a team. We swam in the YMCA on 
Shattuck Avenue for about two years. I think it was after two 
years that they built this pool up in Strawberry Canyon. It has 
a very large pool. I remember going up there by trail and it was 
a very dusty trail. Every afternoon I would go up there and swim 
a quarter or a half a mile for my ego as well as my dedication to 
the university! [laughs] There is quite a difference in attitude 
nowadays. Students wouldn't be hiking a trail up there as we did 
it. They're more pampered. 

Dorfman: But you carried this interest with you, this interest in swimming, 
to Boston? 



66 



Koshland; 
Dor f man: 
Koshland : 



Dorfman: 
Koshland; 



I did. 

How did you demonstrate that when you arrived in Boston? 

The Brookline Swimming Club is merely the name of an organization 
that used the Brookline High School swimming pool. With their 
permission we joined something or other with club dues, whether 
we paid anything to the high school or not. I doubt very much. 
I don't remember. But there was a team there and I got to know 
those people pretty well. I kept that up until I went into the 
army in 1917. I came back at the end of 1918. 

Then in 1920, we were buying wool at government-held sales. 
The Philadelphia people would come to Boston to bid on the 
thousands of pounds, and I got to know a lot of the Phildelphia 
people. I remember one night I had two or three of them for 
dinner in Boston and they agreed to go out to a swminning meet 
that evening in Brookline after dinner. Mind you, we had had a 
lot to eat and plenty to drink! So I was sitting in the bleachers 
there, and one of my former teammates on the swimming team saw me 
in the bleachers and said, "We need you for the water polo team." 
I left my friends. They found a swim suit for me and I played 
water polo. I was absolutely all in, I almost died! I wasn't 
in any condition to play water polo or swim at all. The funny 
part of it was that the next day the newspaper wrote the fact that 
I had saved the day. We won two to one, I remember, and I hit 
both goals simply because I stayed back and didn't play the game 
as it should be played. The ball came to me and I was in a 
position to put it into the goal. Pure luck, not any strategy or 
skill whatsoever in what I did. That was my final swimming 
competition. 

You are as modest as an athlete as you are about everything else! 

No, I was never a great athlete. I was very average. I liked to 
play different kinds of games. I could get beyond the dub stage 
in a few sports and enjoyed them and better players were willing to 
play with ute, even though I was not in their class. 

My first year in Boston looks good. I did win a championship, 
the two hundred yard breast stroke. It was the New England 
championship. That was one year I looked good. The funny part 
of it is that a fellow, a teammate of mine in the New England 
championship took second place to me. The next year he outswam me. 
He beat me by fully six feet in the same event. He later on became 
a coach of the American team that went to Australia. 



Dorfman: What was his name? 



67 



Koshland: It was Bob Muir; a very nice fellow. 
Dorfman: Did you compete in any other swim events? 

Koshland: I swam, as I told you, in '15 and '16 and '17, before I went into 
the service in April of 1917. 

Dorfman: So you had some real successes. 

Koshland: Well, I started out swimming distance and finally got down to the 

breast stroke. Everytime I was beaten badly, I'd go to a different 
event! [laughter] I got more second and third place prizes and 
practically no first place prizes. 

Dorfman: Was it expensive to live in Boston in those days? 

Koshland: No, it was not. It was not expensive, but it was more expensive 
than living in California. That was noticeable. 

Dorfman: Particularly in what area? What cost more? 

Koshland: I'd say the rent and food offhand. 

Dorfman: How was transportation in Boston at that time? 

Koshland: They had a municipal carline that was very good, and they built 
the subway, the Metropolitan, which took you to the suburbs. 
They had a good system. 

Dorfman: Did you own a car in those days? 

Koshland: I had a car, yes. I had a car from the beginning. 

Dorfman: What kind of a car was it? Do you remember? 

Koshland: Yes, my first car I think I had was a Buick. In fact, I had that 
until I went in the army. When I went into the army in April of 
1917, I cut all my affairs in Boston. I figured I was going over 
to France to win the war [chuckles], so I sold my Buick and after 
three months of Plattsburgh Barracks in New York which will come 
up in the military part of it, I went to Camp Devens . To get 
back, it was forty miles west of Boston and I needed transportation. 
So I bought a second hand Ford which I bought for next to nothing. 
It was no second hand. I think it was twentieth hand! I got to 
know every garage between Boston and Concord. 

Dorfman: That's very interesting. Is there anything else you want to add 
about this particular period when you were involved in the family 
firm? 



68 



Koshland: I think we've covered the business part of it. 

Dorfman: I think we can go on to your military service in World War I, 
How did you decide to join the army? 



69 



IV WORLD WAR I AND MILITARY SERVICE, 1916 



Koshland: In 1916 we had Pershing chasing Pancho Villa in Mexico. That 
was in the fall of 1916. Both Dan and I volunteered to go to 
Plattsburgh Barracks in New York. There was a Military Training 
Camps Association which saw that we were going to be involved in 
a European war. Dan and I both went there as volunteers for the 
month of September of 1916. Dan was in the New York contingent 
and I was in the Massachusetts contingent in Plattsburgh Barracks, 
and we had very good basic training for one full month. There 
were several little episodes there which may come up, unimportant 
but amusing. 

Anyway, while we were there the situation at the Mexican border 
got a little more severe, and they asked us if we would volunteer 
to go and join the army down on the Mexican border. Dan and I both 
signed up but we were never called. I remember we wrote to my 
mother and told her what we had done, and she wrote back and said, 
"If I was your age and your sex, I would have done the same thing." 
I'll never forget that. 



Infantry Second Lieutenant, 1917 



Koshland: So we had that training for one month in 1916 and during the winter 
period afterwards in Boston I can only speak for my own activities 
there I attended some lectures organized by the Military Training 
Camps Association to prepare me for a commission. When the war 
broke out on April 6, 1917, that night I was in Beachmont in a 
public swimming pool with the swimming team. It came out that 
Wilson had spoken to the Congress and called for war. That was 
April 6, 1917. 



70 



Koshland: On April 9 I got a telegram from Washington. I was appointed a 

second lieutenant and told that I should report to a certain spot 
on the campus of Harvard on the twelfth to take an examination. 
I said good-by to the office. I buried myself in my room and 
figured I was out of college so many years (this was 1917) , I 
had been out for three years. I didn't know how to study anymore. 
I had enough material there in the manuals and things like that 
to study. I buried myself and worked from six in the morning until 
midnight and tried to learn [chuckles] what a second lieutenant 
should know! 



Plattsburgh Barracks , New York 






Koshland: Then on the twelfth I remember going to this little place over at 
Harvard and having an army officer there ask me about five or ten 
questions, showing me a map to see if I could read a military map 
which I could do. After five or ten minutes of a few questions 
he said to me, "Prepare yourself. You'll be called before long for 
active duty." I went to the camp. I had not been appointed a 
second lieutenant at that time. I was a "potential" second 
lieutenant! But then sometime between that period and within the 
next month, I received a wire from Washington appointing me a 
second lieutenant of infantry and [instructing that] I should 
report to Plattsburgh Barracks by the fifteenth of May. That 
would be my acceptance of my commission. 

I was so anxious to get in, I went three days ahead of time 
and it paid off, as a matter of fact. Plattsburgh Barracks is on 
Lake Champlain and they weren't finished building it up to 
accommodate 5,000 men. It was a permanent army post with limited 
facilities. They had temporary facilities they were building 
there. I remember shaving and taking a shower and jumping in the 
lake which is right outside this barracks. The ice had just melted 
the week before. That's one time I jumped in and jumped out' 
without taking more than one stroke! 

Dorfman: How did your arriving early benefit you? 

Koshland: I was assigned to a company. At the end of five weeks I remember 
this after being in a company with a lot of people like me who 
had been appointed and were accepting commissions. Others had not 
applied in the same manner, but they applied to go there when the 
war broke out. It was a very wonderful bunch of men, I would say, 
that went there. 

## 



71 



Koshland: A wonderful group of men. They were screened by some group in 

Boston. It was a wonderful bunch. There were five weeks of pretty 
intensive training we got in basics. Then quite a few were sent 
home who didn't make the grade and that's where the army made this 
great mistake in my opinion. They were judging people on the 
basis of their lifetime activity and some of them were not college 
grads. They favored the college grads. 

I remember one chap, Ben James, had been a member of the 
swimming team, a wonderful fellow, a natural leader. He had been 
in the New England National Guard, so he had had some experience. 
But he did not have a college education. At the end of five weeks 
when they screened people out, they sent him home as not qualified 
to be an officer. He was outstanding, but it was because he lacked 
a college education in my opinion. I'm pretty sure I was right. 
What happened, he went back to the national guard, the 26th 
Division. He went overseas with them. He was shot up with twenty- 
seven bullet holes in his body and was recommended for the 
congressional Medal of Honor. They gave him the Distinguished 
Service Cross which is the next step. He made a great record and 
he was a natural leader of men. That's where they made such a 
great mistake in their judgment. 

Dorfman: It sounds that way. 

Koshland: They favored a person with a college education too much. That's 
how I got to Plattsburgh. And at the end of three months we all 
came out as ninety-day wonders. We were known as ninety-day wonders. 
Some made it and some did not make it, but it was a good group. Then 
after three months of that, I was assigned to Camp Devens which 
is now Fort Devens. It became a fort the same as Ford Ord. There 
were 116 cantonments built purely to serve army purposes in World 
War I. It became a fort in the early period after World War I. 



Infantry Captain 



Koshland: Then I came out of there as a captain. I was in Plattsburgh 

Barracks in 1917 in the middle of August and then was assigned to 
Camp Devens. I never was a first lieutenant. I was in command 
of a company there in the Depot Bridgade. 

Dorfman: What were your duties? 



72 



Commanding Officer of a Company 



Koshland: As a commanding officer of a company, you had to train them. You 
had a full schedule of training mental, basic tactics, physical 
training the normal duties of a young army officer. Then a 
month later, we got our first men in from the first draft and all 
of a sudden I was in command of a company of two hundred and fifty 
or more. I was never so nervous in my life. I have very definite 
convictions about what a commanding officer should do in talking 
to his men. 

I called a meeting of the whole company one evening. At 
birthday parties in the family I never could make a speech. It's 
a nervous reaction. I never could and to this day I can't really. 
I didn't know what to do, but I called the meeting. I wanted to 
talk to them. I thought they were entitled to know what my 
attitude was toward things and my policy and so. I wrote on a 
little calling card the various items simply by title: physical 
condition, attention, discipline, whatever. Discipline particularly 
I covered. I told them what to expect of me. I was really almost 
shaking in my boots. But I was testing myself. I knew I couldn't 
memorize a speech. I just took a chance for the first time in my 
life and spoke for forty-five minutes just using this one card. 
It was written up because my men all came from Springfield, from 
factories in Springfield and Mt. Holyoke, Massachusetts. It was 
written up afterwards. A reporter had got to the men to get 
their idea of their commanding officer and I got some favorable 
reactions from that. That gave me confidence in myself which was 
very important. 



Expectations of Men: Dedication and Discipline 



Dorfman: What did you express as your expectations of the men? 

Koshland: I expected dedication, giving their best. There was a war. It 
was not a matter of pleasure or fun. There was a war we were 
facing and we've got to be prepared to do our duty and be in 
condition, especially in the case of the infantry which is on the 
ground. You had no air service to speak of in thoc^ days. 
Situations develop in the infantry and unless the outfit is well 
disciplined they scatter to the four winds. You've lost your 
outfit. Your orders and commands must be obeyed to the letter. 
Otherwise, the infantry fails. 



73 



Koshland: An illustration: In World War II, the last two days I was at 

AFSAT [Air Force School of Applied Tactics]. This was an aviation 
school in Orlando, Florida, and I was sent there with about ten 
men from my outfit. I'm just pointing out one thing that will 
come later on. I heard about a war library that would be on this 
base, the School of Applied Tactics. There were original documents 
there that came from the landing in Oran and Morrocco. At that 
time, I was in command of an air service group, I'm now talking 
about 1943. The Germans came over and bombed these outfits and 
the men scattered to the four winds, a lack of discipline that you 
wouldn't have in a well-organized outfit. It is simply an 
illustration of the need for discipline. As I say, in private 
life we all have to be disciplined, no matter what you're doing 
in private life. As a commanding officer of an outfit, I had to 
be disciplined in respect to my superiors. A major general has to 
be disciplined; he's taking orders from somebody, too. 

Dorfman: So you felt the need for discipline was primary in the military? 

Koshland: To accomplish a mission you need it, strict discipline. I was 
known for being a tough officer. I was known for it, but they 
found out I was fair, and this was the reaction that came back to 
me again in World War II, especially in the air service. Here I 
was what we called a retread, having been in World War I. On 
several occasions it did come out when I was transferred from one 
outfit to another that I was a tough officer but fair. That 
means you have the respect of your outfit, reasonably. 

Dorfman: Yes, that is an accolade, isn't it? 

Koshland: I would say so, but the United States Air Force never had complete 
discipline at all. In the infantry, you might be in trenches. 
There is not a great deal of movement and it may come your way or 
you may initiate the action, but everyone has to take his place 
and he's part of a team. In the airplane the airplanes were 
small airplanes in those days [in] the aviation section of the 
signal corps for the few airplanes we had in World War I, the pilot 
went up all by himself. He was on his own. He could do as he 
pleased. In World War II, after the Stukas had raided Belgium 
and Holland gotten into France, the bombers had perhaps a personnel 
of seven in their crews. But that's a small group and they had no 
use for the discipline that's needed on the ground. There's 
friction quite often because of that.- But I never compromised what 
I had been taught which had some men hating me, there is no question 
about it. 

Dorfman: But perhaps respecting your goals. 



74 



Koshland; 



Dorfman: 



In the course of time. This was just prior to our evacuation of 
our base in Kweilin, as well as other bases north of us, because 
the Japanese ground forces were pushing us out (we had no ground 
forces to protect us). An inspector from headquarters in India 
came to Kweilin to examine all of the units on the base. The 
inspector was Lt. Colonel Charles Kennedy. I remember him very 
well. 

The last week before we evacuated Kweilin, he came to me and 
he said, "Colonel, I want to congratulate you. I've checked each 
one of your outfits" (I had seven different companies and 
squadrons) "I've checked all of your outfits and I've never seen 
a better one," or words to that effect. He said, "I want to 
congratulate you." I said, "May I publish that to my outfit?" He 
said, "Certainly." Of course, it was the end of that period there 
when we had to evacuate a dozen bases in Southeast China. I 
published that, what he said, to my men. I think it gave them a 
little more respect for me. 



Yes, that would certainly support it. 
service, about the army? 



How do you feel about the 



The Importance of the Military in Peacetime 



Koshland: I feel it's very important that every young man should serve in the 
military service in the army, navy, marines corps but I think 
every young man should have the experience. 

Dorfman: In peacetime as well? 
Koshland: Absolutely. 
Dorfman: Why is that? 

Koshland: You're living in a time when there hasn't been a generation in your 
lifetime or my lifetime when you haven't had a war. We're 
unfortunately not doing away with war. I'm a pacifist in one 
sense and I'm for peace, but I can't see it. You're on the brink 
of war today right here in this country with our relationship with 
the Soviet Union. So under those circumstances we have to be 
prepared, and I think every young man should serve a year or some 
such period with the colors. It's good for him if he takes it to 
heart. 



75 



Koshland: Now, because of Vietnam everybody hates the military for good 
reason. We never should have gotten into it. That was Lyndon 
Johnson's great mistake in my opinion. It's unfortunate, but 
now we're beyond the situation. We can't fight a major war today. 
Our army is not qualified today to fight a major war. You can 
have all of the equipment in the world. You have to have the men 
to man it. Then you still have to have ground troops, whatever 
bombing you do, whatever you do from the air. You still have to 
take and occupy the ground. I feel very strongly. 

But young men have to be properly indoctrinated when they 
go in the service. Now they don't want to go in because they've 
heard about all of these awful things that can happen and do 
happen. I have had the opportunity to advise a few young men 
after World War II who were being drafted by Selective Service. 
I said, "It's all a matter of attitude. I can tell you from 
experience that in any outfit that you're in in the army, you know 
the 10 percent of the poorest soldiers of the outfit and you've 
got 80 percent not identified as being the top or the bottom. Make 
up your mind which group you want to belong to." That was my 
speech when I took over a new outfit. 

Dorfman: So you gave them the choice. 

Koshland: Yes, and in my opinion it's all a matter of attitude. If you play 
the game right, you get something out of it. I gained a great 
deal from my military experience. I luckily came out whole. It 
makes a difference. But I gained a great deal which was valuable 
to me in my future life, my army experience. I got a certain 
confidence in myself which I did not have prior to that time. But 
if you go in hating the blasted thing because of what has happened 
in the past, you'll be miserable. 



The Value of Logic and Attention to Detail 



Dorfman: What else did you learn? What other gains did you achieve from 
having been in the military? 

Koshland: I think I learned to think logically. Activities of mine when I 
was in the reserve when I kept up after World War I doing a .ll 
sorts of problems. And there is a certain approach to the solution 
of problems, military problems, a logical approach which I've 
been able to use in private life. It doesn't have to be the 
military. You have to know what the other person is doing as 
well as what your thinking is. It's a logical process to develop 
and it's a matter of self confidence, too. 



76 



Dorfman: How about the attention to detail that is required in the military? 

Koshland: Yes, that is a factor to be considered, certainly. Certainly, 
when it comes to the basics, detail is very important. 

Dorfman: What is your feeling about the men of the military? 
Koshland: Do you mean the career people? 
Dorfman: Yes. 

Koshland: I'm going to respond on the basis of my experience in World War II, 
because in World War II I had more responsibility and I had higher 
rank than I had in World War I. I would say of the top brass of 
the military that I met for the most part was excellent, fine 
people. You've got your people who got promotions not based on 
merit, but based on seniority. So a few were not what I would call 
top notch. But by and large, I found true dedication in the service. 
When I speak of it I speak of "the service." It's very important 
to me, my military experience and my respect for the people who are 
in the service. 

Dorfman: You would include the enlisted men as well as the officers in your 
respect? 

Koshland: Yes, I would. Yes, you have some of these oldtimers in the army 
for years and years and years. Some of them are good and some of 
them are not good, although I have great respect for the people 
who play the game properly. 

Dorfman: Did you ever give consideration in World War I to remaining in 
the military? 

Koshland: Yes, I did. I gave it some consideration and decided not to stay 
in, even though I had been treated perfectly well. I had no 
complaints whatsoever I figure that as I took it so seriously 
and really dedicated myself, I didn't think I could maintain that 
attitude in peacetime. That was my real reason. I worked under 
tremendous pressure; much more pressure in World War II than in 
World War I. When peace finally came, I really breathed a sigh 
of relief. My relationship with my men was very important to me 
and I tried to play the game as well as I could. In wartime you 
are working under pressure all the time if you have responsibility. 

Dorfman: You referred a little bit earlier to some episodes that you and 
your brother experienced while you were in training. 

Koshland: Oh, in Plattsburgh? 



77 



Dorfman: Yes. 

Koshland: We had the two groups, the New York regiment and the Massachusetts 
regiment. I remember we went out the last ten days of about a 
month's training out in the field and we went to war. Some 
exercises on certain days were defensive operations, some were 
offensive operations, and we had blank ammunition. So it was very 
realistic. There were all these men that were training to be 
officers. You get excited. I remember once we had a rear guard 
action. I was in the outfit that was going forward and had the 
rear guard action, and Dan was part of the competitive group that 
was attacking us from the rear. We got to a point where it got to 
individual combat where you drew your bayonets, and that's where 
you get your bayonet practice, horrible as it is. When the charge 
came to go forward in Dan's outfit, one man got so excited he had 
to be stopped. He was ready to stab somebody. 

Another episode of no importance whatsoever: I got the men 
to the area of Churubusko which is up in New York State close to 
the Canadian border. It had rained all through the night. We 
were soaked. Our pup tents were not adequate. We were up all 
night really. The next day we hiked nine or ten miles partly 
uphill with heavy packs. I don't know if they were sixty pounds, 
but they were close to it. Sloshing through the road hiking from 
one camp to another was an experience that Dan and I would never 
forget. Not fighting; simply fighting the elements. We were just 
soaked. The tent wasn't adequate. They built a fire and we sat 
around the fire most of the night and then hiked the next morning. 
I remember at that time, during that period, I had just finished 
with my pal the pup tents were for two people staking out our 
pup tent. We were almost finished when along came General Leonard 
Wood. He was chief -of-staf f of the army at that time. He was 
coming unbeknownst to us. He happened to stop when he stopped 
in front of me. I jumped up and saluted properly. He said, "How's 
everything?" I said, "Fine, sir." I was ready to drop in my tracks! 
[laughter] 

He was a great man and because of politics he was prevented 
from going overseas in France. He finally got over there later on. 
But through politics , Senator Warren of Wyoming wanted General 
Pershing to be the head of the expeditionary force and he won. 
He was good at it. I'm not criticizing him, but the logical man 
to go was the chief-of-staf f of the army and it was Leonard Wood. 
It was politics that played a part there. 



78 



A Disappointing Stateside Assignment 



Dorfman: How did you feel about having been stationed in the United States? 



Koshland: 



Over 



Going back to World War I now, I was very unhappy about it. 
the July 4 weekend at Camp Devens, I saw the Seventy-Sixth 
Division go out of our camp. In the middle of night I came back 
from Boston on the weekend and saw some of them march out and I 
was sick. I wasn't with them. Oh, I was very unhappy. In fact, 
before they went out, I had gone from one outfit to another to see 
if they had room for one more captain or one more lieutenant. I 
would have taken a demotion. 

Dorfman: You were that eager to go? 

Koshland: I was very anxious to get into it. In July, 1918, I was transferred 
to Camp Lee, Virginia with four or five others. We were to 
become newly established instructors in the Central Officer's 
Training Camp (COTS), one of five in the nation. This was an 
officer's training camp which trained men to be commissioned 
officers. Most of us, these four or five, wanted to get overseas 
and it never occurred. I remember we went .before the colonel 
commandant of ' the post and told him we wanted to get overseas. He 
said, "Gentlemen, my officers must be disciplined. Good day, 
Gentlemen." 

He was an old woman. But he stood by us in one respect 
because while I was at Camp Devens there were sixteen cantonments 
in the country. There were forty men assigned from each of the 
sixteen cantonments for one month's training at Camp Perry, Ohio 
in rifle and pistol firing. I was, as a matter of fact, the senior 
of the group from Camp Devens. We learned a different system of 
instruction in rifle firing, a more modern approach to it. So we 
put this into effect when we got down to Camp Lee. An inspector 
from Washington came out and saw our men doing something contrary 
to the manual. He said, "What's this?" He was told by this 
colonel, who was the cojnnander at the post, that a new sytem had 
been developed at Camp Perry, Ohio. The inspector said, "Show me 
the orders from higher authority justifying this." That's how 
silly some of these oldtimers were, men who were too conventional, 
too traditional. But the colonel stood by us and after the 
inspector left, we retained the system we had installed. 

This commandant was a silly old fellow in most respects in 
my opinion. He was a regular army colonel but not typical of a 
regular army colonel at all. He made us hike a mile every day at 
noon down to his headquarters to sign the order of the day. The 
order of the day was practically unimportant in every respect, 



79 



Koshland: except it talked about the transfer of persons from one outfit 
to another purely silly, minor administrative stuff. So here 
on November 8 I hiked down after being on the field all morning 
to sign the order of the day and still had to start lecturing 
at one o'clock in the afternoon and have had my lunch. All of 
us did. The adjutant saw me signing my name and he said, "Koshland, 
come here a minute, I want to tell you something." I went into 
his office. He said, "I'm going to tell you an armistice has 
been signed. The war is over." I couldn't wait to get back to 
my outfit at one o'clock formation to tell them that "there was an 
armistice signed today, but we have no orders to change; we will 
continue the program here." 

Well, this went down the line from one battalion to another, 
and I had to eat crow because it was a false armistice. The 
armistice really only came three days later on the eleventh. At 
that time, about that day of the eighth of November, I wrote the 
words to a song. I'll say it to you (I'll try not to sing it), 
"There were men who joined the army, there were men who stayed 
at home, there were men who would be soldiers to fight the foe, 
the Hun they hated so. So they joined this democratic army, but 
were never sent across the sea for their courage and bravery, 
heroic as instructors down at Camp Lee." That's what I concocted 
that night. 

Dorfman: I'm sure that was enjoyed by your friends. 
Koshland: I don't think I circulated it very far! [laughter] 
Dorfman: Did you enjoy teaching? 

Koshland: Yes, I always enjoyed teaching if I knew my subject. I didn't 
know very much. 

Dorfman: I'm sure you must have. You did prepare yourself for whatever 
subjects you were teaching, certainly. 

Koshland: Oh, that I did, yes. 

Dorfman: What did you enjoy most about teaching when you were in the army 
in World War I? 

Koshland: I can't remember anything in particular. 



80 



V RETURN TO THE FAMILY BUSINESS IN BOSTON 



Dorfman: Then after the armistice, of course, you returned home. 

Koshland: Yes, that was one benefit. They closed these camps up very 
quickly, the officers training camps. I was discharged on 
November 29, the day after Thanksgiving day. I remember that 
very well. 

Dorfman: Then you returned to Boston where you rejoined the family business. 
Koshland: That's right. 

n 

m 

Koshland: I spoke to various members of the family. 
Dorfman: Because you were thinking of returning West? 

Koshland: Yes, and I was dissuaded. They thought I was in a perfectly good, 
happy position in Boston and I should stay there. So I stayed. 



Decision to Remain in Boston 



Dorfman: Were you convinced? 

Koshland: I was reasonably convinced, yes. I wasn't being forced in any way. 
It was my own decision I had made myself. 

Dorfman: So you did return to live and to work out of Boston as a buyer? 

Koshland: Yes. Well, I wasn't a member of the firm until 1922. But I resumed 
my western trips. I picked up again in 1919 on my own. I mean for 
the firm, not with an oldtime buyer overseeing me. In 1916 I went 



81 



Koshland: out West with a buyer who trained me. In '17- T 18 I was in the 
service. In 1919 I went back on my own as a buyer. Later on, 
to the Philadelphia area to a limited extent, as a salesman. 



Meeting Delphine Rosenfeld 



Dorfman: In 1920 you met your wife. 

Koshland: I met her at the end of 1918 when I was in San Francisco. She was 
a student at the University of California in Berkeley, Delphine 
Rosenfeld from Portland. I met her at a party. She was a 
sophomore. I had my eye on her. She was very attractive, I 
thought. I knew I would see her sometime in Portland. That was 
the end of 1918, Christmastime. I went to Portland in 1919 and 
I didn't look her up on purpose. I figured she was too young. In 
1920 I went out there and during the course of my business career 
I got engaged. That was on June 13 of 1920 we became engaged and 
on December 8 we were married. 

Dorfman: Where were you married? 

Koshland: In Portland in Temple Beth Israel. 

Dorfman: In a conservative or reform temple? 

Koshland: A reform temple. For you information, today is December 5. On 
December 8 we will have been married for sixty years. 

Dorfman: I certainly offer my congratulations. 
Koshland: Thank you. 

Dorfman: That's just lovely. That will be a very auspicious occasion for 
you. 

Koshland: Well, sixty years! 

Dorfman: How do you plan to celebrate? 

Koshland: By just the two of us goiug out to dinner. We had the whole family 
together for her birthday when my wife was eighty years old in 
October. So we had the whole family together then, and we had the 
whole family together for Thanksgiving. So Monday we're going out 
on our own. 



82 



VI MARRIAGE AND FAMILY 



Dorfman: Well, I'm sure you'll enjoy it a great deal. What was it like 
for a young married couple to settle in Boston? Did you move 
to Boston immediately after your marriage? 

Koshland: We took a trip to Hawaii and then went to Boston. 

Dorfman: You set up housekeeping in Boston? 

Koshland: Yes. 

Dorfman: In an apartment? 

Koshland: We went to a hotel first, but then in the fall we got an apartment. 
We moved into a flat as they were called in those days. It was 
an apartment. That was in 1921. 

Dorfman: Yes, you were married at the end of 1920. 

Koshland: That's right. 

Dorfman: Who introduced you to couples of your own age? 

Koshland: I had been there, don't forget, as a bachelor for all of these years 
from 1914 on. It was through those people, I met people. 

Dorfman: Did you have much of a social life or a very quiet life? 

Koshland: I'd say a quiet one. There was plenty of social activity, but not 
an exciting one. 



83 



Residence in Boston as a Married Man 



Dorfman: How was life different for you as a married man in Boston? 

Obviously, you now had a wife. But how were your activities 
different? 

Koshland: I would say they continued about the same with this exception. 

I told you about this group of young fellows who got together to 
settle the affairs of the world. There was one woman who was a 
wonderful woman, Frances Stern, who was an expert in nutrition. 
At her apartment, we used to meet before I got married. I guess 
she had a house. She was a bachelor woman, but she was very much 
interested in social welfare and the community. We would go to 
her apartment or house, as it was, in Newton, a suburb, every 
Friday and settle the affairs of the world. She encouraged us, 
she stimulated us, and she was a wonderful person. Each of us in 
turn when we got married introduced our wives to her and the 
Friday evening things. To this day, my wife, Delphine, still thinks 
she was very selfish, and that she tried to get the boys under her 
wing. The wives never liked her. She was a wonderful woman. 

Dorfman: Then you did not continue those meetings after marriage? 

Koshland: No. All the wives had the same reaction; the husbands didn't. 
[.Interview 4: February 2, 1981]## 

Dorfman: When we last met, you were about to celebrate sixty years of 
marriage to Mrs. Koshland. Particularly in these days we all 
ask, what helped your marriage to endure? 

Koshland: [laughs] That's a hard one! My wife was very forgiving of my 
weakness. I was also I don't know how to answer that. 

Dorfman: Maybe that's a question we can come back to a little later. Now, 

to return to Boston where you took Mrs. Koshland as a young bride, 

how was life different for you there now that you were a married 
man? 

Koshland: It didn't change much. Of course, I introduced her to my friends. 
There were two or three different groups of people. Socially, 
other than the fact that there were two of us instead of one, 
I'd say there was no radical change that I can think of. 

Dorfman: Did many social activities take place in your home during those 
years? 



84 



Koshland: I think we did our share of entertaining and we were entertained 
by our friends. There was no real change except that, sure, when 
I was a bachelor and I belonged to a swimming club we used to 
swim there I guess I gave that up at that time. 

Dorfman: But you had dinner parties in your home for friends? 

Koshland: Yes, we lived in an apartment house. We lived in Brookline. That 
year we rented an apartment and lived in that for quite a few years 
in Brookline. 

Dorfman: Were your dinner parties as formal as those as your parents might 
have given? 

Koshland: I would say no, much more informal. 

Dorfman: Were you active in musical operatic circles? 

Koshland: No. 

Dorfman: Ballet? 

Koshland: I went to the opera, but I was not active as the member of any 
organization. 

Dorfman: Were you also ardent theater goers? 

Koshland: No, to some extent to a limited extent. 

Dorfman: Did your wife participate in organizational activities at that time? 

Koshland: No, I can't think of any at the moment. 



Birth of First Child, Robert, in Portland, Oregon, 1922 



Dorfman: Then two years after you were married, you experienced a very 

exciting and important event, the birth of your first child. That 
was in 

Koshland: Nineteen twenty- two. 

Dorfman: Your son; was your son, Robert, born in a hospital or at home? 

Koshland: He was born in a hospital in Portland, Oregon. You see, I came 

West on a buying trip every year and this time, because my wife was 
pregnant, we came out earlier. Normally, I would come out in April 
or May. This time we came out to Oregon in March or April because 
the baby was due in April . 



85 



Dorfman: So the plan was for the child to be born in Portland. 

Koshland: Oh, yes, definitely. That brings up an amusing thing which may 
or may not be worthy of recording. Actually, it was before the 
shearing season started in wool buying. I was ahead of normal 
schedule. Sheep men were asking thirty cents a pound if you 
wanted to buy it off the sheep's back before shearing time and 
take a chance. This was if we knew the individual sheep man was 
a good sheep man or if we knew the quality of the wool. I remember 
it was a Friday night, April 21. I wired the firm in Boston. I 
said, "If you think these wools will be worth thirty cents, which 
the growers are asking, let's step in and buy." (Thus get a good 
selection.) 

The next morning at about six or seven o'clock, my wife had 
labor pains and I had to take her to the hospital to have my son. 
While there at the hospital, at eight in the morning, I got a 
telegram from Boston to go ahead. So the whole time she was in 
labor, I was sending my cousin who was our representative in 
Portland from one place to another buying wool. It excited the 
whole market and the price jumped up from thirty to forty cents, 
because we were considered leaders in the business among the 
leaders. So within a week or ten days, the price had gone up to 
forty cents. So it turned out to be a good move. 

All this time my wife was in labor, at least the morning of 
the twenty-second. 

Dorfman: Yes, it certainly was exciting to move the market. 

Koshland: I was busy in the hospital on the long distance phone. 

Dorfman: It kept you busy. 

Koshland: Very definitely. 

Dorfman: Did members of the family, your immediate family, come to Portland, 
Oregon? 

Koshland: No, no, no. My wife's family was there. That was enough! 

Dorfman: Was there a bris at that time, a ritual circumcision? 

Koshland: Yes, there was. 

Dorfman: Who performed that? 

Koshland: I haven't the least idea. I assume it was a doctor, not a moel. 



86 



Dorfman: It was the doctor then. There wasn't a ceremony involved? 

Koshland: There may have been. Jonah Wise was the rabbi out there at the 

time. That was before he moved to New York. He was married into 
the Rosenfeld family. We had the same relationship. I have an 
idea vaguely in mind, since you asked the question, that Jonah Wise 
was present. 

Dorfman: Did you have a nurse for the child after he was born? 

Koshland: Yes. 

Dorfman: How long was that nurse in attendance with the baby? 

Koshland: Through childhood for years. 

Dorfinan: The same nurse? 

Koshland: Yes, when we got to Boston she had been with the Jesse Koshlands 
in Boston. We inherited her, 

Dorfman: Did you have any other staff along with the nurse? 

Koshland: No. 

Dorfman: Did any of your family members come to Boston to visit? 

Koshland: Oh, yes, my mother and father came occasionally. Of course, I came 
West every year on a buying trip. Except for the years 1917 and 
'18 when I was in the army. When World War II broke out (we'll 
get that later on), I was in pretty early. 



Family Life and Travel with the Children 



Dorfman: Did you continue to live in Brcokline, Massachusetts in that 
apartment? 

Koshland: We lived there for three or four years. Then we moved to a house 

on Beech Road in Brookline. We lived there until 1929. My cousin, 
SLanley Sinton, who was Edgar Sinton's older brother, resigned from 
the firm to move back West. He was the only person who ever 
resigned from the firm. He had a year's lease yet on his house in 
Boston proper on Beacon Street and Hereford intersection. I took 
over his lease, so we moved out of the house on Brookline and lived 
in what was Stanley Sinton's home for the year. The next year we 
closed up our business. 



87 



Dorfman: Why did Stanley Sinton resign and move West? 

Koshland: He felt he wanted to live in California. 

Dorfman: It was simply a matter of preference for the area. 

Koshland: I think that was his primary reason, although he could see we 
weren't doing so well in our business. It undoubtedly was a 
factor. 

Dorfman: You moved into this house and at that point you had two or three 
children by the time you moved into it. Was it a large home? 

Koshland: It was typical of Eastern structure, I would say. I disliked it 
heartily. Whenever you wanted to move from one room to another, 
you had to go up a flight or down a flight of stairs. There are 
two rooms on every floor and it went up about four floors. It 
was a typical, oldtime New England structure. 

Dorfman: Were there gardens as well? 

Koshland: No, no gardens. 

Dorfman: Where did the children play. 

Koshland: When we were on Beacon and Hereford Streets my son was born in 1922 
and we moved in there in 1929. So he was seven years old and he 
was the oldest of the three. Susan, the last one, came along in 
1928 in June. So he didn't play in the streets. Although when we 
lived on Beech Road, there was a beautiful area there in Brookline. 
There was a grove of beech trees; gorgeous, beautiful beech trees. 
I'm sure my children played in that area. 

Dorfman: I'd like to know what family life with children was like. How 
did you spend your time when you were with them? 

Koshland: Bear in mind, that I never was in Boston in the summertime, except 
in 1929 which was our last year there. When I was West buying 
wool, I took my family with me and the family stayed in Portland or 
out at Gearhart at Seaside. I'd take a house there for a month or 
two. I never spent any summer in Boston except the first and the 
last summer. 

Dorfman: Yes, this was Seaside 

Koshland: Gearhart is next to Seaside. It's a small area there just a couple 
of miles east of Seaside, the city. A barren, desolate place, 
but it had a golf course.. It had a beautiful beach and very poor 
swimming facilities because the tide drift there is a fast tide. 
You couldn't swim in it. I was a pretty good swimmer, considered 
a good swimmer, and I couldn't swim there. 



88 



Koshland: It was a popular place among certain families in Boston for years 
and years, because that was the end of the railroad. It took 
four hours to go from Portland to Gearheart. Now, later on, the 
use of automobiles expanded with the development of a road system. 
Then you could go on to Cannon Beach, next to Seaside, Oregon, and 
these other beautiful beaches further down the line. 

Dorfman: They had not yet been developed because of the lack of transportation. 

Koshland: That is correct. Where the railroad ended, that was where people 
built summer homes. 

Dorfman: When you went West to Portland with the children, did you travel 
by train? 

Koshland: Yes, always, and it was quite a trip. That was a four-day trip. 
Dorfman: Was it difficult to travel with the children? 

Koshland: No difficulty whatsoever. No, no difficulty, except when the 

children were babies, we had to have special milk. It was Walker- 
Gordon milk. Of course, we put it in -the refrigerator in the train. 
It was adjusted chemically, so it would maintain its good qualities. 

Dorfman: That must have been an exciting trip for the children to take. 

Koshland: Oh, sure. One year we came out, when we came out to live 

permanently in 1930. The kids were small. My son Bob and the 
elder daughter Peggy were playing. We were in a drawing room and 
Bob slammed the door to the hallway on Peggy's finger, the middle 
finger. It almost tore through, she almost lost it. 

When we got to Ogden, which was several hours later, they had 
a doctor there to give her first aid. I wouldn't permit them to 
do anything other than give first aid and stop the bleeding. We 
telephone to San Francisco and made arrangements, the family was 
meeting us anyway, to go direct to the doctor's office, Bert 
Coblentz's office, uncle of Billy Coblentz whom you know here. 
He became our doctor and he took care of my daughter, Peggy, at 
that point. 

Dorfman: That must have been a horrible experience for all of you. 
Koshland: Oh, certainly. 

Dorfman: What values did you think were important to impart to your children 
as they were growing up? 



89 



Koshland: I was considered a pretty strong disciplinarian. I demanded a 

good deal, I guess. My mother, having been very strict with us, 
I passed it on. She was very strict about table manners and 
behaviorism. I probably tried to impart that to my children. 
They turned out all right in spite of it! 

Dorfman: How would you compare the way your parents brought you, your 

brother, and your sister up to the way you and your wife raised 
your own children. 

Koshland: I'd say there was a strong influence of my mother particularly. 
She was a disciplinarian. She brought us up more than my father 
did. I guess some of it passed on, naturally, to our behavior 
and our relationship with our children. My wife was not the 
disciplinarian that I was. 

Dorfman: Then would you say that you were the stronger influence in your 
home? 



Koshland: 
Dorfman: 

Koshland: 



Dorfman: 



Koshland: 



Dorfman : 
Koshland: 



It could be. 

Have your feelings changed at all about the values that you 
imparted to your children? 

I've been very regretful for many years about certain things. In 
particular, I came out here from Boston for various reasons. We 
gave up our business and the climate is such that I figured that 
people enjoyed life, get more out of life here than on the 
eastern seaboard. 

What would you have changed about the way in which you raised 
your children? 

We joined the Beresford Country Club as soon as we came out and 
also the Gymkhana Club in San Mateo so the three children could 
all learn to ride horses. That was good, but I was dedicated at 
playing tennis every weekend at the club when I should have been 
spending time with my children. I've always regretted that, that 
tennis was more important to me at that time. But I was no good; 
I was a poor player barely out of the dub stage. I don't think 
I spent the time with my children that I should have spent with 
them. To this day, I regret that. 

Have you discussed it with them at all? 
I probably have to some extent. 



90 



Transition from Boston to San Francisco 



Dorfman: You talked about returning to San Francisco after the decision to 
dissolve the family business. I wonder what it was like for you 
to return to San Francisco after having lived in Boston. 

Koshland: It was no problem whatsoever because I came out West every year on 
a buying trip. I always came to San Francisco to visit my 
brother, sister, and my parents, although my brother was living 
in New York until 1922 when he came out here to join Walter Haas. 
But it was no problem at all. I had the same friends I had in my 
school days, so we fitted in perfectly well. There was no 
transition effort as we just had in Washington, D.C., the transition 
from one administration to another. There was no difficulty here 
at all. 



Dorfman: Then there was no trauma at all. 

Koshland: No, I was unhappy about leaving Boston for only one reason. I did 
have good friends there, worthwhile friends, and their friendship 
lasted and lasts to this day. We go back every few years and if 
we don't stay too long, we seem to be welcome. We maintained 
very close relationshps with several. Of course, quite a few 
have died in my age group. Some were one or two years older than 
I was. But that has been a valuable part of my life, a highly 
valued part of my life. 

Dorfman: Who in particular do you maintain a strong relationship with in 
Boston? 

Koshland: I guess about every two weeks my wife talks on Sunday to Ida 

Vorenberg; that's Frank Vorenberg and his wife, Ida. Their son Jim 
has just been named dean of the Harvard Law School. They were 
very close friends of ours. Another very close friend was Herbert 
Ehrmann, known as Brute Ehrmann. He was president of the American 
Jewish Committee some years ago. He died, oh, I'd say about six, 
seven or eight years ago. His wife is still active, Sara. She 
has been a very, strong factor in the national organization in 
trying to abolish capital punishment. She has worked with that 
for years and years. Even when I was in Boston she was active in 
that field. 

Dorfman: Is she still active? 

Koshland: I think she is still active in it; not to the same extent. She 

was working as a volunteer practically full time years ago . What 
she has done in recent years, I don't know. But I'm sure she has 
an affiliation of some kind with the organization to this day. 



91 



Dorfman: When you returned to San Francisco, what would you say was the most 
dramatic change that you observed? 

Koshland: The way of life changed because I could be outdoors and live 

outdoors in large measure in recreational activities. Out here we 
don't get much rain at all, so I could play tennis and swim every 
weekend. In other words, we live much more informally here. We 
never really got into winter sports in the East. We went away a 
few weekends, long weekends, for winter sports. But we never 
participated as other people do or as other people did then. 

Dorfman: How did you think that San Francisco had changed in the years you 
had been living in Boston? 

Koshland: I can't think of anything offhand. 

Dorfman: Where did you live when you returned to San Francisco. 

Koshland: Where we are now, Hillsborough. We only lived in two houses. We 
rented a house [in 1930] and then in 1944, when we were still 
renting it, the owner wanted to move back. I was in China, in 
the air force. My wife looked around and bought this house right 
next door. So we have lived in just two homes all these years, 
fifty years. We're still in the house. 

Dorfman: What was the address of the house that you rented? 

Koshland: Two- two- three West Santa Inez that's in Hillsborough and the 
house we're in is 217 West Santa Inez. It's right next door. 

Dorfman: When you moved back to San Francisco did the children's nurse move 
with you? 

Koshland: Yes. 

Dorfman: Did you have a staff to help at home? 

Koshland: We did in those days. We had a cook and a butler for many years. 

Dorfman: Until how long would you say? 

Koshland: I know when I came back from the air force, we still had two people 
in the house until about ten years ago, I'd say. Because of 
changes in time and circumstance, we have had one since that time. 
The one we have had recently, left just the day before yesterday. 
We are without anyone now. So if you're ready to cook and take 
care of the house, you've got a job! [laughter] 

Dorfman: Where did your children go to school when you returned? 



92 



Koshland: 

Dorfman: 

Koshland: 



Dorfman: 

Koshland: 
Dorfman: 

Koshland: 



They went to the grade school in Hillsborough. 
A public school? 

A public school, yes. My son went one year to San Mateo High 
School, then East to Exeter for three years. He and my older 
daughter went to the University of California. And the younger 
daughter Susan went to Stanford. She was right. She was four 
years behind Peggy and Peggy was very popular, and Susan didn't 
want to be known as Peggy's little sister. She was perfectly 
right. She wanted to be on her own and she got into Stanford, and 
while at Stanford she got a husband. 



How did you feel about her going to Stanford, 
that? 



Did you agree with 



Oh, certainly I did. I'm not that parochial in my attitudes. 

What were the interests of your children as they were growing up? 
Were they interested in art, athletics, music? 

My son enjoyed tennis and swimming. He took after his old man in 
that respect! That was his interest. He collected Jack London 
first editions, very much interested in that. Peggy had no 
particular she wanted to study ballet. That was her idea. She 
quit all of a sudden because she heard a boy making remarks one 
day about [being] a sissy. It just killed her spirit and her 
ambition in that respect completely, just because of what she 
heard another high school boy say. But she was quite popular at 
college and she got along perfectly well. I don't know if she 
had any special interests other than boys! And Susan, I don't 
know of any particular interests she had. 



Dorfman: Where did you spend family vacations? 

Koshland: When I was living in Boston? 

Dorfman: No, after you returned to the Bay Area. 

Vacations and Travel with the Family 



Koshland: We never owned a second home. But we were fortunate. Friends 

invited us up to Lake Tahoe. We were the biggest spongers on the 
lake, I think, because we could go there and spend a week or two 
in three different homes. People invited us, so we had a nice 
time. On a few occasions only, I rented a house for a month at 



93 



Koshland: Lake Tahoe. In the summer, I tried to take the family out, on 

trips as my mother did with us when we were kids, traveling. We 
did take a few trips, one trip to Hawaii in 1937. In 1938 we 
took them up to Canada Lake Louise and Banff. We went on a 
camping trip from Lake Louise. 

Dorfman: Oh,, how lovely! 

Koshland: It sounds lovely. We had a guide and horses for one week. And 
we had wigwams and it rained the whole time. We only saw the sun 
once in a whole week! [laughter] My son and I got along 
perfectly well, but the women my wife and the two girls did 
not like it. No one suffered at all, but it took a lot of the 
joy out of the trip. It was dull and rainy most of the time. 

Dorfman: Were there other trips that you took? 

Koshland: I'm just trying to think. We never took them to Europe. No, I 

can think of one other. That was one December when we drove south 
to see the Rose Bowl game. We visited every mission from San 
Francisco to Los Angeles. The children did not appreciate this. 
And to top my lack of popularity we got caught in the traffic and 
only got into the coliseum at the end of the first quarter. 
Stanford had scored a touchdown, and that was the only score of 
the game Stanford six, Southern Methodist zero. 

Dorfman: Which island did you visit in Hawaii? 

Koshland: When we took the children? 

Dorfman: Yes. 

Koshland: Oahu. 

Dorfman: You have taken trips with your grandchildren. 

Koshland: On one or two we've selected grandchildren for certain trips, 
but not much. We've done some of that, but not a greal deal. 

Dorfman: Maybe we can talk more about that later. 



94 



VII BUSINESS ACTIVITIES FROM 1930 TO 1943; 1948 TO 1952## 



Dorfman: We were talking about what your business activities were when 
you returned West to San Francisco. 

Koshland: I got involved at different times with different things. I got 
into a business for a short time with two acquaintances here in 
San Francisco. A local man here named an old family, not a 
Jewish family they were the owners of the Fairmont Hotel. Do you 
remember the two brothers, Harland and Herbert Law We weren't 
associated with them at all, but the nephew of one of them or the 
son of one of them, had developed a milk without the fat content 
made out of vegetables. We tried to market that without success. 
The dairy people wouldn't permit any adulterated milk or anything 
like that in those days. The dairy people had a monopoly, so we 
couldn't get anyplace except to try to develop a foreign business 
and that didn't work. So that didn't last any length of time at 
all and I didn't put any time in it. It was like an investment 
for me. 

Dorfman: What year was that? 

Koshland: I'd say in the early thirties. I also got involved as an investor 
with a fellow San Franciscan in a tungsten mine half way between 
Tucson and the Mexican border. I went down there finally after 
we kept on putting money into it. We had tungsten. The trouble 
was that it cost us more to produce it than we could get selling 
it. It was General Electric property and they were wise enough 
to let people find out where the tungsten was. It didn't cost them 
anything. I didn't lose much money by it, but it was an interesting 
experience.. 

Dorfman: Was that about at the same time? 

Koshland: I would say that was in the later thirties, as a guess. One 

other venture that I was in for a time, full time myself, was the 
frozen food business. This chap who came out of the navy and was 
introduced to me by Jean Witter, a partner in Dean Witter & Company. 



95 



Koshland: He had come out of the navy, and was looking for someone to go 
into business with him and Dean Witter brought us together. 
We formed a company here and got the franchise for all of 
Northern California for Birdseye. This was in 1948. 

Dorfman: What was his name? 

Koshland: Philip Stapp; he just died in the last year. [spells name] But 
he turned out to be a promoter, not a good salesman. He was 
flighty. He was smart. He would make contracts with any number 
of producers and didn't hesitate to make changes. We built up 
quite a business. We were selling five million of these little 
packages a year, these thirty to forty cent packages of frozen 
foods peas, vegetables, all kinds. But he was too much of a 
promoter and not a salesman. There was no stability in the 
business. We went broke, and that ended that lesson. 

Dorfman: That was about what year? 
Koshland: Nineteen fifty- two. 

Dorfman: You were going to tell me about a venture you were involved in in 
Los Angeles, the Market Realty Corporation. You said that you had 
two partners. Who were they? 

Koshland: Herbert Baruch [spells name] of an old Los Angeles family. We 
were very friendly with the Baruchs and went to college at the 
same time. Herbert Baruch was a year behind me at Cal. He was 
one of the partners. The other was Alfred Meyer, a San Franciscan, 
a partner in Sutro and Company. They were good old pals of mine. 
My friend Roy Van Vliet, who still is alive, was the one who found 
the spot for us at which to build a supermarket. He was a real 
estate broker. In fact, he was in the real estate business, and he 
found a spot it was his idea right next to Sears Roebuck in 
Hollywood. So we were satellites in a sense because of the people 
at Sears Roebuck who would come right next door to the supermarket 
that we built. That worked out perfectly well. But, then, when 
I was in the army in 1943, there was a chance to sell it. My 
partners wanted to sell it which we did. This was a profitable 
venture . 

Dorfman: How long were you involved in that venture? 

Koshland: From 1931 'til '43. But after the first six weeks I think it was 

or thereabouts, we gave a franchise for the whole works to somebody 
else. We no longer ran it ourselves, as we had, through a manager. 

Dorfman: To whom did you give that franchise? 
Koshland: I have no idea. 



96 



VIII WORLD WAR II: FURTHER MILITARY SERVICE 



Dorfman: Let's go on now to your service in World War II. You had been in 
the infantry during World War I as a commissioned officer. What 
brought you to service in the air force? 



From Infantry to Air Force 



Koshland: Number one, I knew they couldn't win the war without me! 



Demotion in Exchange for a Return to Uniform 



Koshland: When I didn't get overseas in World War I, I was a very disappointed 
person that they won the war without me in a combat assignment. I 
didn't get to France and I felt very upset about that. World War II 
came along and it was not the making of my children, their 
generation. It was my generation which had failed and gotten into 
war not that I was against it. But I thought very strongly about 
it, if my soa was going to go into the army, I was going to go in 
too. 

My good friend, Bray ton Wilbur, had married a young lady who 
was an army girl, army major. Do you know of her, Dita Wilbur? 
She is a lovely, lovely person. So they had connections in 
Washington with the army. Bray ton went on a trip to Washington 
after World War II started. I said to him, "Are you going to tell 
them back there at the infantry that I want to get in? I want to 
get back my former commission" (which was as a lieutenant colonel 
in the infantry) . 

Dorfman: This was what year? 



97 



Koshland: That was early in 1942 after Pearl Harbor. He sent me a long 
telegram from Washington saying, "Forget it, Bob. They don't 
want an old man like you." That didn't stop me. I let it be 
known that I wanted to get back in the service. A friend of mine 
who owned property at Fourth Street where the Fourth Area Service 
Command of the air force had headquarters. It had a brigadier 
general in command. A friend of mine introduced me to the 
general. He was Barney Giles [spells name]. He was one of twin 
generals, Generals Giles. 

The air force had a superiority complex at all times to 
build up a kind of morale. General Giles asked me to sit down. 
There was a plaque in front of him like this sign I've got there, 
[points to sign] It showed that he was a lieutenant colonel. He 
had been promoted so fast, since he was a regular military man in 
the air force. (They promoted them so rapidly.) Within a few 
months he was a lieutenant colonel and then a colonel and now he 
was brigadier general. 

I told him what my experience had been. He said, "What do 
you want to do?" I said, "I want to get back in the infantry," 
which was like a slap in the face. But in any event, he was 
decent about it. He said, "I think we can use you." So he called 
his adjutant in and had me fill out an application. That was in 
March or April, 1942. He said, "How much notice do you want?" I 
said, "Two weeks notice,," So, in the middle of May I got two weeks 
notice to report as a major to the Air Depot Training Station at 
Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

I had gone up in the reserve during the period between World 
War I and World War II. I was a lieutenant colonel and in 1935 
they sent me another commission for another five years which was 
good enough for me, except I was so active at home in community 
activities that I didn't want to go on active duty. So I sent the 
commission back and said that I was available when needed. That 
was in 1935. In 1940 when France fell, I tried to get in again. 
I was too old for them. They wouldn't have me in the infantry. 

So here it was, 1942, right after Pearl Harbor. In March 
or April General Giles said, "I think we can use you." That's 
how I got in. So I got in the air force instead of the infantry. 

Dorfman: How did you feel about that? 

Koshland: It was perfectly okay. I was back in uniform; that's where I 
wanted to be. 



98 



Assignment to Air Depot Training Station, Albuquerque, New Mexico 



Dorfman: Where were you assigned. 

Koshland: At Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Air Depot Training Station, which 
was to train air depot groups. I commanded the Forty- third Air 
Depot Group. On December 12, I was promoted to lieutenant colonel. 
1 was there for the better part of a year and a half before being 
put at the head of another group, the Twelfth Air Service Group, 
which suited me better. 

Dorfman: What were your duties initially? 

Koshland: When I first started in this air depot training station it was 

under construction. There were two units there, The Forty-first 
and Forty-second Air Depot Groups in the early days of training 
They only had fifty to a hundred men each. The table of 
organization calls for twelve hundred in each air depot group. 
The base was still under construction. I had turned down a 
commission several months earlier in the post exchange, because 
I didn't want to be in the business end of it. I wanted to be in 
the fighting end of it. A chap there who became a very good friend 
of mine and [is] to this day he lives in Florida, named Enoch 
Paulsen he was a major. He had been a flyer, temporarily in 
command of this base under construction. When he looked over my 
profile, he saw that I had been in business. He made me the head 
of the first post exchange which had to be built. I wanted to get 
out of it. 

A few weeks later an old army colonel, Harley Dagley, came in 
to take over the post. He had been an enlisted man in the 
Philippines, he had been through the Phillippines as a volunteer 
in whatever they called them at that time. Now he was a cavalry 
colonel in the air force. He took a liking to me and had the two 
of us in a meeting together. Major Paulsen said I had been put 
in charge of building a post exchange. I explained my ideas and 
that I did not want an exchange job, I wanted to get into the 
field with troops. Furthermore, I had drawn up a plan for the 
exchange, merging two of these small buildings together and making 
one out of them. So they could use that not only for merchandising 
things that the soldiers needed, but also I arranged for a USO 
to come in with an entertaining group. It was eight miles out of 
Albuquerque. It was a desolate area in one sense. But that came 
later on. I got a USO outfit to come and lead like "Sing Along 
with Mitch" Do you remember that? Well, long before Mitch came 
along we brought them out to entertain the troops and let them 
sing. 



99 



Koshland: Anyway, he explained my proposal about merging two of these 

buildings together to make one. Paulsen didn't agree with me 
and this cavalry colonel did agree with me. He knew I wanted to 
get overseas and I didn't want the exchange job. We were living 
in the Hilton Hotel in Albuquerque. I used to drive him out 
there in my automobile. One Sunday he said to me, "Koshland" he 
was. a cranky old guy "Koshland, tomorrow morning you are going to 
come in as adjutant of this post." I said, "Colonel, I don't know 
a thing about army paper work. I wasn't made for that sort of 
thing. There are any number of officers on this post who would 
love to have that job, but don't give it to me." Well, he respected 
it and a short time later he called me in and said, "I f ve got 
orders from Washington to form a new air depot group. You're it." 
So I was in command of it and built it up until I was kicked out. 

Early in 1943 another colonel, J. Hugh Fite, came in. In the 
meantime, this fellow, the cavalry colonel had been kicked out 
because he wasn't a rated pilot. The air force wouldn't let any 
top executive have that kind of a job unless he was a rated pilot. 
They had been held down so long from the days of Billy Mitchell. 
Then when the Germans took over, went into Holland and Belgium and 
France, the air force finally got some recognition. 

Colonel [John] Hugh Fite was a very good man, a good organizer. 
But shortly after he was there, another colonel, Colonel O'Neil, 
came in who technically had more credentials because of longevity, 
to take over the post. He was demanding to take over the post and 
between the two of them they were fighting through Air Service 
Command Headquarters and Washington, B.C. as to who would be in 
command of the post. This fellow O'Neil, who had been relieved 
of his assignment in west Africa, lost out to Fite who had been 
there several months and had done a very good job. So O'Neil lost 
out and he was given command of my depot group. Instead of my 
being commander, I was then the second in command, the executive 
officer, which suited me perfectly well. I didn't claim to be 
qualified to command a group. I was perfectly happy being his 
executive officer. 

In fact, Delphine was down there with me at that particular 
time. We gave a cocktail party to introduce this Colonel O'Neil 
to the rest of the officers. I wanted to give him every 
cooperation in his taking command of his outfit, and he wasn't 
going to come. He said the day before the cocktail party we were 
giving for him it was just off the post he was not going to come 
out. I said, "Colonel, I'm giving this cocktail party to make it 
easier for you to take over and get to know your officers." So he 
and his wife came to our house. The next day [laughs] he demanded 
that I be relieved of the job there because he felt that the group 



100 



Koshland: would be so loyal to me that he wouldn't get a fair break. That 
was his fear. But I didn't have that kind of leadership in my 
outfit, I'm quite sure. 

Then he wanted to get rid of me entirely. [He didn't want me] 
even as executive officer. So Fite got orders from Dayton or 
Washington to transfer me to Barksdale Field, Sixty-sixth Air 
Service group in Louisiana at Shreveport. Then Fite sent his 
executive officer to tell me not to obey that order for several 
days until he got in touch with me. Colonel Fite wanted me to 
stay there, take command of the air deport group and have them 
change their policy of having a non-rated officer in command of an 
outfit this size. He had me stay there three or four days and he 
tried his best to get me to stay there. The top officials in 
Dayton and Washington wouldn't permit it, so I went to Barksdale 
Field, Louisiana. 



Command of the Twelfth Air Service Group 



Koshland: I was put in command of an air service group there, the Sixty-sixth. 
I was there for two months. In the meantime, Colonel Fite, on his 
own, would telephone to me once or twice and say, "A new outfit is 
coming here from Biggs Air Field, but if I don't like 'em, I'm 
going to get you!" It was really unsoldierly in one sense, but it 
was highly complimentary to me. 



While at Barksdale an amusing thing occurred. The rifle range 
was not up to standard. Yet, I was expected to qualify men with 
their rifles even though the course was not up to standard. I 
got in touch with an army camp at Claiborne in Mississippi and 
arranged to bring my group by truck and have use of their range 
for three days. Claiborne is a short day's drive from Barksdale. 
This also gave me an opportunity to test my company and squadrons 
while actually in the field and on the road. Well, all went well 
by purpose was accomplished. However, upon my return to Barksdale, 
the commanding officer told me that area headquarters in San 
Antonio had heard about this venture and wanted to know how and why 
I had done this. The following day I was advised that in the 
future any desire to take any units beyond area limits or intent 
to go from air force to an army jurisdiction would be arranged 
through air force headquarters in San Antonio. 

All of sudden, orders came to break up several outfits and 
send individuals overseas as casuals. They were going to break 
up my outfit. So I went to the commanding officer and requested 
to be included in this group. They phoned headquarters in San 
Antonio and got authorization to put me on that list. I remember 
it was a Wednesday night. 



101 



Koshland: In any event, Fite had sent for me. He kicked the commander out 
and put me in charge of this new group, the Twelfth Air Service 
Group, which I took overseas. I got the whole group together, 
twelve hundred of them for the first time and said, "We are goin 
to go overseas." There was a snicker throughout the whole crowd. 
But one month later we did go overseas. 

It was a very interesting experience, but I worked under 
pressure the whole time I was in the service, and I was glad 
when it was over. 



Dorfman: 



Koshland 



Dorfman: 



I'm sure you were. Was this group somewhat demoralized? 
made reference to their having been pushed around. 



You 



They were very unhappy and when I came in there, I was given 
orders to prepare them for overseas duty. So I put in a pretty 
strict schedule. We had marches on Saturday when the other two 
groups were loafing and doing nothing. I was marching them out 
there on Saturdays, putting them through gas drill and various 
maneuvers and what not. [laughs] I remember the quartermaster 
went to Fite and complained about me because I was taking these 
men out on long marches. He said, "They're wearing their shoes 
out." Fite said, "Koshland, keep your outfit on the post. Now, 
don't go off the post." 

After the war was over, Fite formed a corporation to maintain 
airplanes for trans Pacific transport service. He telephone to 
me and got me to go up to the air field here east of Vallejo and 
be in command. I didn't want it at all, but he was the one who 
sent me overseas and treated me very well, and I couldn't say no 
to him. So he had a 350 men contract with the air force as a 
private corporation to maintain the planes going between here and 
Hawaii and the Orient. (Before this he had retired from the air 
corps.) 

But at the end of six weeks of that, I was able to get out. 
I was able to turn it over to my assistant Joe Horton who was an 
expert airplane engineer and well qualified. I didn't know a 
wing from a prop. 

You said that you took your outfit overseas, twelve hundred men. 
Where did you go when you went overseas? 



United States Army 
Assistant Chief of 
Staff, China Air 
Service Command, 
Colonel Robert J. 
Koshland , February 
1945, Kunming, China. 




General Claire L. 
Chennault, Fourteenth 
Air Force Commander, 
1945 . Photograph 
presented before Robert 
J. Koshland left 
Kunming, China to 
return to the United 
States. 




102 



Bombay and Calcutta, India, November, 1943: Over the Hump 
Into Kunming, China, January, 1944 



Koshland: We went by navy transport from Wilmington, California, for the 
forty-five nights it took us to cross the Pacific Ocean. There 
were 6,800 people on board of which 800 were the navy personnel 
crew, and 6,000 passengers. There were five decks five bunks 
stacked on the decks. We crossed the equator twice, how these 
men in the lower cabins and decks ever survived, I don't know. 

Dorfman: When was this? 

Koshland: That was from November 10 to December 26, 1943. I remember the day 
after Christmas we landed in Bombay. Christmas day was spent at 
sea. The ship zigzagged independently all the way across until 
we got to Perth in Australia. Freemantle is the port for Perth. 
We were there for two days and we went up through the Indian 
Ocean to Bombay. Oh, they were good experiences. 

But then when we landed there, I never saw Bombay except what 
I saw from the harbor when we were coming in because they brought 
two troop trains right out on the dock there. So my men would 
march onto the troop trains and we went across to Calcutta to 
the staging area called Camp Kanchrapara, thirty-six miles north 
of Calcutta. That was New Year's Eve. That was an interesting 
experience if you want to hear a couple of stories. 

We all got some Indian rupees since we were in India. At 
every station the old people, young people, middle age people, 
everybody had their hands out for baksheesh. There was a regular 
line that these men would give you. The children were all also 
taught "No mother, no father, no sister, no brother: baksheesh" 
with the hand out. 



I had a Protestant 
third or fourth station 
some reason or another, 
the Indians, and ran it 
where we stopped, a kid 
patter, "No father, no 
his pockets inside out 
said, "Son of a bitch!" 
taught him. 



chaplain in my outfit and after about the 
. we stopped every fifteen minutes for 

The British people wer-e running it, not 
very poorly. About the fourth station 
came up to the chaplain and gave him the 
sister, no brother." The chaplain turned 
to show he had no more rupees and the kid 
[laughter] That's what the G.I.'s had 



An interesting thing, he came back before the war was over. 
He was over with us until the following summer, and he had too 
much of it, he went home. But he was married to a lady who was a 
doctor, a surgeon. She was an obstetrician. I hear from her every 



103 



Koshland: 



Dorfman: 
Koshland: 
Dorfman: 
Koshland: 

Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



year. She is in Nigeria and runs a hospital and a religious 
mission there. She has lived over there all these years. In 
her letters, she is a very, very religious person, and her letters 
tell everything that has happened during the past year and she 
thanks God for this and thanks God for that. The chaplain died, I 
would say, in the early fifties, if not sooner than that. She 
brought up their children. I've never seen her since. I've 
corresponded with her, but quite a person she is because she has 
gone through all those difficult times massacres and other 
But evidently, the natives all respect and admire her for carrying 
on this mission. 

What is her name? 
Martha Gilliland. 
And her husband's name? 



William; he was known as Mac. 
Nigeria; quite a person. 



[spells name] Her address is Lagos, 



You said you had some other experiences, at this same time, when 
you moved your men from the transport. 

We got to Calcutta after four days. It was a thousand miles across 
from Bombay to Calcutta. From the same train we would go to the 
staging area at Camp Kanchrapara, a tent camp. We left Calcutta at 
three in the afternoon and it was the fourth day out. The train 
stopped every few minutes though for some reason or another. 
Finally, it was dark. We had been at a place for a long time. 
Mind you, it was just thirty-six miles and it took us all this 
time from three in the afternoon. Finally at midnight we stopped 
at some place, and I went down the line saying "Happy New Year" 
to the whole outfit in every one of the cars. They weren't 
Pullman cars, but they were cars anyway. We got out at five in 
the morning and it was the muddiest place in the world. Lucky I 
didn't get the troops out at midnight. So much for that. 

Where did you move from there? 

Two weeks later thirteen days later to be exact I was sent with 
a handful of men, about fifteen men, key people, on the first 
flight into China. We went to Chabua which is up at the head of 
of the Brahmaputra River in northeast India. There was a staging 
area there. I was there just one night and then flew over the 
Hump into Kunming which was Chennault's headquarters. That was 
on the thirteenth of January. I was there, if I'm not mistaken, 
on the thirteenth or fourteenth of January. I was there about 
one night in Chabua, the staging area, and then flew over the Hump 



104 



Koshland: into Kunming. Gradually, after one week there being briefed by 
General Hood and his staff in Kunming, I went with my advance 
group by air to Kweilin which was 475 miles east in the Kwang-Tsi 
province. My headquarters was on the Yantang Air Force Base 
there. General Robin Hood was the commanding officer of the China 
Air Service. 

Dorfman: What were your duties? 

Koshland: Supply and maintenance of planes. We were serving the Fourteenth 
Air Force. We were under Chennault. He was theater air force 
commander, therefore had jurisdiction over the ASC, which had 
the responsibility throughout. The Air Service Command's job was 
to provide aircraft maintenance and supplies to the combat air 
force's unit. 

Dorfman: How many men were you in command of at that point? 

Koshland: About 1,200. There were about sixty-seven officers. The air 

force was top heavy with officers; too many officers. Finally, 
a year later they broke them up into two groups, after I was sent 
on a mission to Italy. While there, the air service groups were 
being broken up into halves which was very sensible. I had a 
top heavy staff. 



Dorfman: You were saying that you had a top heavy staff. 

Koshland: Too many; the air force has too many in staff jobs, the same as 
in the enlisted ranks. I disagreed with the policy of promotion 
in the enlisted ranks. I made it first of all on recognition of 
military merit for a man to be promoted, not just because of the 
vacancy. Sometimes I had a vacancy for a sergeant's job or a 
corporal's job, and I'd say to my engineering staff man, "Is the 
man a good soldier?" when he wanted to promote a man from corporal 
to sergeant, or from sergeant to a higher sergeant rating. He said, 
"Colonel, you don't understand the air force." I said, "My job 
is to protect this place as well. My men have to be soldiers, 
number one; technicians, number two." 

He tried to double-cross me one time and my executive officer 
stood by me. I was sent to Italy on a mission. It was a long 
trip from China to Italy. I had no sooner left then this officer he 
had been an enlisted man, he was now a major in the air force 
I had taken some of his responsibility away from him, he was a 
staff officer. It's a matter of organization. He didn't like it, 
so behind my back he had obtained a countermanding order to do 
certain things. I was in Italy at the time. 



105 



Koshland: My executive officer stood by me and the order from Kunming 

headquarters was rescinded. But I wasn't an air force career man 
as he was. He had been an enlisted man. So these things happen. 

Dorfman: Was there a difference, do you feel, because he was a career man? 

Koshland: I think he felt that way. After all, most of the people were not 
career people. The career people took care of the career people. 

Dorfman: That's true, yes. So you were on this assignment for how long? 

Koshland: I commanded the Twelfth Air Service Group from the time I joined 
them here at the end of September until I was relieved in 
February 1945. That was when I came back from Italy, I was 
relieved of command of the Twelfth Mr Service Group. It was the 
outfit I had taken over to China and went on the general staff 
of the China Air Service Command. I was assistant chief of staff, 
one of several. 



Problems in Kweilin, China 



Dorfman: Before you tell me about your mission to Italy, were there other 
problems that you experienced or other issues while you were in 
Kweilin, China? 



General Claire Chennault 



Koshland: Number one, our great problem was we lived off the Chinese so far 
as food was concerned. But Chennault was very strict in what he 
permitted to come over the Hump from India to China, because we 
were very limited in tonnage. So outside of gasoline or bombs, 
practically nothing was permitted to come over the Hump for the 
first year. They increased the tonnage limitation on the Hump after 
the first year, so we could bring a few other things in. They 
would bring a limited amount of beer in for the men, limited other 
knicknacks for the exchange, but nothing to what the American 
military had in the other theaters. There was tight austerity in 
material so far as Air Service Command was concerned. We, the 
Air Service Command, failed the combat air force, to give them the 
tires that they needed for the airplanes. Many missions were 
aborted because we didn't have tires for the planes. Gasoline 
was very tight. We developed a system of using alcohol long before 
this present situation in our motors to Sc-ve on gas. 



106 



Dorfman: Who initiated that? 

Koshland: That came out of the top people in headquarters in China and 
Kunming . 

Dorfman: Did you have some morale problems as well with your men. 

Koshland: Not because of that, no. We had no difficulty because of living 
in an austere fashion. We didn't suffer a bit, not a bit. That 
means you didn't have some of the niceties, but after all, the 
Fourteenth Air Force was the only air force in China. We had no 
ground troops, no American ground troops at all. China was 
supposed to protect us, but that's another story. We'll come to 
that later on. They were supposed to protect us. Chennault 
was a very good leader and he was a good soldier. 

Dorfman: How did you relate with General Chennault? 

Koshland: Number one, when I came back from this mission in Italy, I was told 
to wind up my affairs. By that time, we had been forced out of 
all our bases in southeast China. This was in September and 
October and November of '44. I was told to wind up my affairs 
there. My group was stationed at Luliang. 

Shortly after in February when I came back from Italy, I had 
to go into Chennault' s office for a meeting of the awards committee, 
the decorations committee. I was on that committee. I was 
introduced to Chennault, and I should tell you that for years I'd 
been told I looked so young for my age. Chennault looked at me 
when I was introduced and said, "Were you in World War I?" I said, 
"Yes, sir." He said, "I thought so." [laughter] I was an old 
man! Mind you, I was fifty or fifty-one years of age and I was 
an old man compared with all the boy colonels in the combat air 
force units. The colonels were in their twenties. While I was 
in Italy my promotion came through to full colonel. 

Dorfman: So that was your meeting with General Chennault. 
Koshland: Yes, I got a great kick out of that! 



The Chinese Army 



Dorfman: I'm sure you did! You said that the Chinese were given the mission 
to protect our troops. 



107 



Koshland: Yes, we had no American troops there at all, and it was the duty 
of the Chinese to protect us, but they didn't. I found out very 
quickly that with all the warehouses we had, with all the materiel 
we were supposed to have, I had to have my men sleeping in all 
these buildings to protect us against our protectors. A squad 
in the Chinese army would have sandals on. They had one rifle for 
eight or ten or twelve men and others carried sacks of rice. It 
wasn't an army at all. Naturally, they looked at us enviously for 
the shoes and everything else we had. So I don't blame them. 
They deserted right and left. 



General and Madame Chiang Kai-shek 



Koshland: There was no such thing as a real Chinese army. I would drive my 
jeep sometimes from one post to another, from an air base to 
another air base, and see some of these seventy-five guns at the 
entrance. They were nicely polished but were never used by the 
Chinese. They were waiting for the revolution that was going to 
come after we got through with the war. That was all prepared 
in advance. Chiang Kai-shek never fought, never fired a shot in 
defense of these air bases that we were ati Never a shot was 
fired. We were forced out of every one of our bases from Changsha, 
if you look at a map, right down the line, Changsha to Kweilin, 
one base after another, we evacuated as the Japanese were moving 
in. 

Dorfman: This was something that was not widely publicized. 

Koshland: Even Barbara Tuckman forgot! That's where she made a mistake in 
her book, talking about the valiant Chinese effort to defend 
these bases. They never made any effort whatsoever. They 
disappeared during the night. I did meet one or two American 
colonels who were assigned to the Chinese as advisors. I remember 
one of these colonels telling me he was in an area with this 
Chinese army where he was an advisor, and the morning he woke up, 
they had all disappeared. That happened to several of them. They 
just ran away. Chiang Kai-shefc never fought at all. I shook his 
hand once when I was introduced to him. 

Dorfman: Under what circumstances? 

Koshland: Relationships had weakened in our feeling for the Chinese 

evidently all the way back to Washington. So Chennault had 
Chiang Kai-shek come down and visit in Kunming. I was one of 
the staff there and I was introduced to him as we went down the 
line, simply introduced to him. I heard Mei-ling speak once when 
she came to Kweilin. She was no rose, you know. Mei-ling was his 
wife and there was a story about her if you're interested. 



108 



Koshland: When Mei-ling came back to Washington she had been living at 

the White House and Franklin Roosevelt couldn't get rid of her. 
He flew her back in an air force plane, or had her flown. When 
they got to Chungking, which was the capital during the war days, 
she told the American officer there he was the pilot to empty 
all the gas tanks and put them in the other gas tanks that the 
Chinese had there. The pilot refused to do it. She said, "The 
president said I could have it." But she didn't get it. You 
know the little curtains that you have on the side of an airplane. 
She wanted those curtains taken down, and she didn't get them. 
She was a greedy person. 

Dorfman: Was this part of her character widely known? 

Koshland: I don't think so. But I got that story from two or three officers, 
and one of them was actually there. 

Dorfman: You met Chiang Kai-shek. In what year was that? 
Koshland: That was in 1945. 



Mission to Italy 



Dorfman: You were going to tell me also about your mission to Italy. 

Koshland: That was interesting. Washington sent out orders to Chennault. 

My commanding officer was Colonel Clarence P. Talbot. But he was 
also an officer of the Fourteenth Air Force. He was what they 
called A-4, services and supplies, part of the Fourteenth Air 
Force. Chennault got orders to send a rated officer and another 
officer who didn't have to be rated, representing the Air Service 
Command, to Italy to brief units schedules for redeplopment to 
the China theater after Germany folded up. This was in December 
of '44. I was then stationed in Luliang just east because we 
had evacuated our bases. My outfit was in Luliang. 

So I got a call to come back from Kunming. I was to be the 
representative of the Air Service Command to brief units in Italy 
scheduled for redeployment to the China theater when Germany folded 
up. My companion there was a brigadier general wh^. had just 
gotten his star that's a story, too; a no-good guy in my book. 
We spent a weekend in Kunming getting briefed [about] all the 
things we should say and what the conditions were. The brigadier 
general was my pilot. I couldn't complain about that. I had 
virtually a throne in the cabin all by myself. Our relationship 
was not a good one. 



109 



Koshland: Anyway, we were to report to the European headquarters at the 
European Theater of Operations (ETO) at Caserta. This, which 
was twenty-five miles out of Naples, was a tremendous place. 
The German headquarters had been there before we got in there. 
It was five stories high and a tremendous building. 

General Alexander, I think, was there and an American general. 
I went to their briefing room, the way the thing was done. No 
show has ever been more formal than this. It might have been a 
lieutenant or a major or a colonel, it made no difference. There 
was a general sitting in one corner there, and the place was 
organized like a theater. They had models on the stage representing 
clouds they had cotton a man would come up and salute the general 
and say, "The situation on the West Front the last twenty- four 
hours, sir," and give a military description of what had happened 
during the past twenty- four hours. Another officer would come in: 
"The weather situation, the forecast for the next twenty-four 
hours in the western theater " And he would give his report; very 
formal. It was quite a show, I would say. But they cooperated 
because they had the English, the French, and any other allies 
represented there in the joint briefing. 

Then all but the few top men would leave the theater, and 
the few top men would sit and talk among themselves and make the 
decision of what to do in the next twenty-four hours. 

Dorfman: What followed? 

Koshland: Then after four days, I figured this top headquarters was no place 
for me. I was transferred I got myself transferred I was free 
on order from the European Theater of Operations to go anyplace 
to which I wanted to go . I was expected to go with the general, 
the no-good guy. Anyway, I left him and went on my own. I 
remember spending Christmas New Year's Eve with American air 
base men whom I knew, who had been at Albuquerque with me. One of 
the groups from Albuquerque was stationed at Bari. I flew across 
Italy. It was no trip at all. I left the general on my own and 
visited other bases. After a day or two, I got a radio message 
from him to join him at Manduria which is in the heel of the boot, 
the Italian boot. 

Dorfman: Who sent this wire? 

Koshland: I got this radio message from General Win Morse. One of his 

failings was his vanity, I guess. The commanding officer of this 
Manduria air base said to me I was there in time for dinner at 
the top officer's mess he said, "Who is this General Morse who 
is coming down here to join you?" I gave him the story about 
General Morse, who he was, head of the Chinese-American composite 
wing the joint command of the American officers training Chinese 
pilots. 



110 



Koshland: The air force general in Manduria there was known as Speedy Rush. 
The commanding officer asked me who this general was who was 
coming in, so I told him. General Morse was late coming in. He 
didn't arrive when I had arrived, a little earlier. He came into 
the room in this mess hall. He went to the end of the table and 
I can still see him saying, "Hello, Speedy, how are you?" [laughs] 
Speedy didn't know him from Adam! He was putting on an act. 

Then he asked me to ride with him in the staff car back to 
Bari and, of course, I had to say yes. Then I found out why he 
was so rude to me. Before landing at a base he would radio in 
that he was arriving, a V.I. P., and leave me standing out in the 
middle of the field there with my bag. He was very rude. You 
wouldn't do that to another soldier, and certainly not another 
officer. 

I finally found out, I think, why he was treating me so 
rudely, because I thought I had played the game perfectly all 
right. Then he let out in conversation that he was so mad at the 
Air Service Command because he had to abort so many missions for 
lack of twenty-seven inch casings and other materiel the airplanes 
needed. He was perfectly right in his criticism there because 
we did fail, but that was the fault in India of the Twentieth Air 
Deport in Calcutta, because my record would show all the radio 
messages I was sending daily back to Kunming from Kweilin. "We're 
out of this, we're out of that, we're out of that" everyday. We 
failed, but he was taking it out on me. 

Dorfman: On you personally? 

Koshland: Yes, because an officer and a gentleman doesn't do that to another 
officer and a presumed gentleman! 

Dorfman: No, certainly not! So that was the explanation of your relationship 
with this brigadier general. 

Koshland: Yes, well, I got away from him when there was an opportunity. When 
we were down in Manduria, he was called upon to talk about the 
situation in China and what the conditions are. I'm supposed to 
talk about the conditions for the Air Service Command our living 
conditions, et cetera, et cetera. When we were in a joint meeting, 
he never called on me. After the meeting was over, he would say, 
"Koshland, I forgot to call on you." This happened twice. But they 
did often have them [the casings] because the inspector general 
from the Fourteenth Air Force, Colonel Claton Claason, a U.C. 
graduate and an air force career officer, went down there to see 
for himself. 



Ill 



Koshland: I remember so clearly, and I warned them at headquarters that he 
was going there to check on this himself. He got down there and 
this colonel who had been in Albuquerque, Nelson Hackett, said, 
"Go through the warehouse and take anything you want." They 
found the twenty-seven inch casings and other things that we had 
said we couldn't get. 

Dor f man: What was the problem? 

Koshland: Inefficiency, the plain inefficiency of the Twenty-eighth Air 

Depot in Calcutta. Many missions were aborted for lack of some 
instrument of some kind tires. 

Dorfman: Just inefficiency? 

Koshland: That's all it was for the most part. 

Dorfman: Then you remained in Italy on this mission for 

Koshland: I was gone six weeks. 



VJ-Day, October 3, 1945 



Dorfman: Where did you go from there? 

Koshland: I was on this trip to Italy from about December 22 to February 8. 
That was when I became assistant chief of staff. I was stationed 
in Kunming then throughout VJ-Day, until October 3. After VJ-Day, 
I flew down with Colonel Talbot to Shanghai to the airport, 
because we were going to move our headquarters down there. It was 
after VJ-Day. So I flew down with him two or threee of us did 
on his staff to look over the headquarters the Japanese had used 
and were still using, as a matter of fact. They had surrendered 
on August 14, but September 2, 1945 was officially designated as 
VJ-Day. We moved our headquarters actually moved ourselves down 
permanently on October 3. I can't think of the name of the airport 
now, but it's outside of Shanghai. 

I was there from October 3, 1945 to November 26. The day 
after Thanksgiving I got permission from MacArthur's headquarters 
in Tokyo to stop off in Tokyo to see my son and son-in-law who 
were in the army there. My son-in-law had become my son-in-law 
while I was in China. 

Dorfman: That was your first meeting? 



112 



Koshland: I had met him once before while he was a classmate of my daughter 
in college. I really didn't know him. 

Dorfman: This was the husband of your daughter Peggy? 

Koshland: Yes, his name is Robert Arnold. He's a Cal graduate the same time 
as Peggy. 

Dorfman: So you met him for the first time as your son-in-law. 

Koshland: The first time as my son-in-law. My son, Bob, was there. He was 
there in the signal corps for the army signal intelligence. So I 
stayed over there three days with the two of them and then flew 
home. 

Dorfman: That must have been a very happy meeting. 

Koshland: It was. I really wanted to kiss the ground when I landed at 
Hamilton Field here on December 1, 1945. 



A Significant Introduction to Rabbi Alvin Fine 



Dorfman: You told me that you had read Architects of Reform by Fred Rosebaum* 
and that you wish to make a correction. 

Koshland: At the bottom of page 147 it states, "They had met during the war 
in China where Robert Koshland had been an Air Force Colonel and 
Fine a chaplain, and upon Robert's request the rabbi had conducted 
the military funeral of the Koshland's cousin, Lloyd Ackerman, Jr." 
When I was advised of his death, I contacted Rabbi Fine. But 
Lloyd Ackerman, Jr. was not a blood relative at all. 

Dorfman: I see, but was the incident accurate? 

Koshland: The incident is correct. I ^ot hold of him and we had the service 
there in Kunming. I knew nothing about it. I got a cablegram from 
my sister who was married to a Sloss to look into the matter of 
Lloyd Ackerman 's death. I had lunch with him just four days before 
that. He was stationed in an outlying area of the Chinese S.O.S. 
[Service of Supply]. I had lunch with him. He was in fine shape 
except after you know that a man has done away with himself you 
tried to find causes. He had a big responsibility giving money 
to this Chinese S.O.S to provide foods mainly. At luncheon with 
me he mentioned that he was worried and that he would take the blame 
for any shortages. The books were gone over and there was nothing 
wrong. Everything was in tip-top shape. It was very sad; a fine 
young man. 



* (Berkeley, California: Judah L. Magnes Memorial Museum, 1980) 



113 



Dorfman: He must have been under extraordinary pressure. 

Koshland: Well, he had that responsibility. People break under it often. 

Dorfman: But it was your suggestion that eventually led to Rabbi Fine's 
being considered 

Koshland: This is what happened. The story in this book is practically just 
about correct. My brother was, I think, vice-president of Temple 
Emanu-El at the time and on the search committee for the successor 
to Rabbi Reichert. I had an office with my brother in San 
Francisco at the time. This was back in 1946 after I came back from 
China. Alvin was transferred from military service after the 
Armistice to United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration 
in Shanghai. He was still over there, I think, at that time 
working for UNRRA. I said, "I'll give you a name to put in the 
hopper." I told him about Alvin Fine, whom I had known in China, 
and I knew what he did; a magnificent job. I said, "I don't know 
what kind of a rabbi he is but I know what his feeling is, his 
general philosophy. He did an outstanding job in China. I know he 
speaks well." I said, "Check on him." Harold Zellerbach went 
East at that time to interview a lot of people for the rabbinate 
here at Temple Emanu-El. He told me when he came back that the 
only person who had no counts against him was Alvin Fine. There 
were plenty of people who wanted the job, it was a prestigious job. 
And Alvin didn't want to come. He wouldn't apply. 

Dorfman: Why not? 

Koshland: Nelson Glueck, head of the Hebrew Union College, urged him to 

finally give in and come out here, and he did. He wanted to stay 
in a teaching role at the Hebrew Union College. 

Dorfman: What particularly was so outstanding about Rabbi Fine's work in 
China? 

Koshland: China is a very big country and when you look at the communication 
system, the railroad and road system, there just isn't any to 
speak of; practically none. He had all these outfits of the 
Fourteenth Air Force and others like mine spread out all over 
China, south of the Yangtze River. Alvin Fine, for the first 
year that I was there, this was 1944, covered the whole area. He 
got the Jews in every one of the units to conduct services. He 
gave them prayer books. The Protestants and the Catholics all had 
numerous chaplains as the population justified. So they had no 
difficulty in organizing because in every place I remember people 
had a chaplain. But the Jews had one chaplain covering the whole 
area. 



114 



Koshland: When I was at the going away party at Kunming in December of '44, 
I think it may have been then, before I went to Italy, they gave 
him a send-off, a dinner party. The Catholic and Protestant 
chaplains were there and they gave him a great send-off. That's 
when I first really appreciated all that he had done. The second 
day I was there they brought another man over from India, another 
chaplain, so there were two of them then. 

Dorfman: That's very interesting. Who was the other man? 

Koshland: I forget. There is a picture in there [Architects of Reform]. 
I don't know who it is. 



Legion of Merit Award 



Dorfman: You received several military decorations, did you not? 

Koshland: I received one. 

Dorfman: Please tell me about that one. 

Koshland: Well, they had surplus property, no doubt. 

Dorfman: Please tell me how you came to be decorated? 

Koshland: Well, they had a certain number to give out, and they give them out 
on some basis or other. But I had nothing to do with it, I want 
you to know! It happened that my superior officer when I was down 
in Kweilin had recommended me several times. My job as assistant 
chief of staff in charge of personnel, all things related to 
personnel behaviorism, you name it all personnel matters came 
through me as an assistant chief of staff. Several times the man 
who had been my commanding officer, Colonel Richard Wise, who was 
a West Pointer, during the days in Kweilin, had recommended me 
bo_h for promotion and for a decoration. I was brought in to the 
staff because the man who had preceded me was very inefficient. 
He was a playboy who was not what you would call a good soldier. 
His office was most inefficient that's another story. They decided 
while I was over in Italy to change. 

Dorfman: We were talking about the decoration that you received. 

Koshland: Yes, I went on as assistant chief of staff. All officer promotion 
recommendations went through me promotions as well as decorations. 
I had been recommended for a decoration. I just killed it and never 
let it go any further. I was brought in there to clean up that 
office. I was not there to give myself a decoration. 



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115 



Koshland: After I came home the decoration followed me! It was initiated 

by others I don't know who did it. I can guess [Colonel Richard 
Wise]. After I left the air force base six miles outside of 
Shanghai and came home, a month or so later, this officer was 
coming back from China and he came in and gave me this decoration. 
But it was all initiated after I left. 

Dorfman: That was the Legion of Merit? 
Koshland: That was the Legion of Merit, yes. 

Dorfman: You also were awarded, earlier, the Military Order of the World 
Wars. 

Koshland: That was a veterans' membership organization. 
Dorfman: That was not an award then? 

Koshland: No, that was formed right after World War I, and I was one of 

those who joined at the very beginning. I was living in Boston 
in those days and I joined it. It was simply a veterans' 
organization like the American Legion. It was exclusively for 
officers . 

Dorfman: Is that organization still in existence? 

Koshland: Yes, it is still in existence. I've not been active. When I 

first moved out here, I was asked to reorganize what they had here 
in the way of a chapter. I put in quite a bit of time reorganizing 
it and finally it died anyway. I'm a life member and I still get 
that stuff in the mail and I throw it away. 

Dorfman: How would you say that your years in the military have influenced 
you? 

Koshland: I think it had a great influence on my life. Number one, coming 
out of school I never could get up and make a speech or even a 
birthday speech. I was nervous. I didn't have much self-confidence, 

After Officers Training School at Plattsburgh in August, 1917, 
I was sent to Camp Devens in command of a group that was coming 
in from the draft. I was in command of a company and I had very 
definite ideas based on my experience of what a commanding officer 
should do, what I expected of them and what they could expect of 
me. As I told you, I made up my mind I was going to get the whole 
company together and speak to them about this. I was as nervous as 
I could be. I knew I couldn't memorize a speech. I knew I couldn't 
memorize a speech. I knew I couldn't dwell at length on anything 



116 



Koshland: that I had prepared. So I took a calling card and simply wrote, 
one word discipline, one word about morale, you name it 
depending upon myself to simply get away with it, to talk for 
fifteen minutes. 

Well, as I said, that was my first effort and I spoke actually 
for- forty-five minutes. So that gave me self-confidence. It was 
one of the best things that I ever did. 

//# 

Dorfman: You were saying that this gave you self-confidence, to have been 
able to speak in this way. 

Koshland: It did. I think it served me well the rest of my life. 

Dorfman: Were you affected or influenced in any other way by your service 
in the military? 

Koshland: I tried to play the game as well as it could be played. The outfit 
I took overseas this is World War II now Never did an outfit 
go overseas with as low morale as the Twelfth Air Service Group. I 
had been in command for just one month and had done a lot of things 
that they had not experienced before. It took a long time it 
took the Japanese bombing to bring my outfit around to recognize 
that it was not playboy business, being in the army in wartime. 

Dorfman: How did you feel about the treatment of the enlisted men the 
draftees the treatment that they were given by the service? 

Koshland: They were well taken care of, well taken care of. As soon as 
anything was wrong, the judge advocate, and defense attorney, 
would enter the case. The officer I had was a major and I took 
him overseas as a first lieutenant, Bob Judd, who lives in 
Brooklyn, New York. I see him whenever I go to New York; a fine 
man. They had confidence in him even men who got into trouble 
and [whom we] were thinking of court martialing, and sometimes we 
did court martial. But they would turn to Judd and say, "We don't 
hold it against you," when he was prosecuting attorney. 

Dorfman: That was unusual. 

Koshland: No, I would say the service would lean over backwards to protect 
a man if he was in trouble. He may have stolen or sold some 
cigarettes. You had your exceptions, of course, such as officers 
who didn't know how to handle men. Too many officers want to be 
good friends and be popular. That doesn't go. Discipline doesn't 
permit that sort of thing, at least in the ground forces. In the 
air force it's a different story. 



117 



Dorfman: You felt that it was not as much as a problem in the air force? 

Koshland: The air force, with its superiority complex, was used to having 

a pilot in a fighter plane, one man in a plane, while in a bomber 
there would be seven or eight men. They had to be intimate 
comrades. They didn't recognize the needs of the infantry men on 
the ground for discipline. So therefore, I stuck to my guns, 
what I learned in the infantry, and was heartily disliked for it. 
I always felt that it took the bombing by the Japanese to help me 
get the respect and the loyalty of my men. 



Recognition of Excellence in Kweilin, China 



Dorfman: Because they recognized the threat? 

Koshland: Then. Whenever there was a Japanese bombing, I had a place that 
is in Kweilin, all these limestone hills around there with caves 
in them. Right above my headquarters building, there was a big 
cave that would hold three hundred people. I had a telephone 
system in there. John Dell, who was my signal officer, lives 
here right in this area. He had a signal tie-in by telephone 
with each company squadron seven or eight of them had a cave 
to report at a certain cave, whenever there was a bombing. 

(The inspector general came from India, inspecting all 
organizations in Kweilin. I remember his name was Charles 
Kennedy.) This inspector general came over and inspected all of 
the outfits on the base. Late one night we were having a bombing. 
It was the last week before we evacuated from Kweilin. We 
yielded it to the enemy. He said, "Colonel Koshland, I want to 
tell you something. I've inspected every one of your outfits" 
he used the word wonderful "splendid organization; the best I've 
seen." I said, "May I tell that to my men?" He said, "Yes." So 
I posted a notice. It was sent around to all the units, what he 
had said about the Twelfth ASG. I think that, plus the fact 
that as the Japanese came nearer and nearer with the bombing, 
gave the men a little more motivation, more of a desire to perform. 

That finally I wasn't as bad a bloke as they thought! 
[laughter] 

Dorfman: I understand from all reports you were held in very high esteem by 
your men. 



118 



Reunion of Fourteenth Air Force, Reno, Nevada, 1980 



Koshland: I don't know about that. Oh, I've kept in touch with a great 
many. Here are several folders of correspondence [indicates 
folders in desk drawer]. Every Christmastime I send a card to 
many of them. But they've died some of them or transferred and 
I've lost track of them. But I try to keep it up-to-date. As 
a matter of fact, this year in August I went to a reunion in the 
Fourteenth Air Force Association in Reno. About twenty or twenty- 
five of my men, enlisted men and officers, were there. It was 
a very pleasant reunion. 

Dorfman: I'm sure it was. 

Koshland: And my wife was. there and can testify that no one shot me in the 
back! [laughter] 

Dorfman: I'm sure you didn't need protection! How did you look upon the 
treatment of non-whites in the service in World War II? 



General Chiang Kai-shek's Fear of Mi-scegenation 



Koshland: 



Dorfman: 
Koshland: 
Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



So far as the general situation was concerned, I can't speak from 
experience. I can say what my experience was. Two of my quarter 
master truck companies were kept in India. They didn't come into 
China because Chiang Kai-shek was afraid of miscegenation. So 
there were no Negro troops in the air force in China during World 
War II. At the tail end after the armistice, I think they let 
some in after I left. But up to that time, Chiang Kai-shek had 
not permitted any black men to come in. So it was Chiang Kai-shek. 
These two quartermaster truck companies were kept in India, but 
they had white officers as well as black officers. 

Were there any Asian men in your command? 
No. 



Can you tell me what problems 

Pardon me, before you go any further. I've got to retract, 
my lieutenants who was an engineer was a Chinese-American. 



One of 



Dorfman: What was the treatment given him? 



119 



Koshland: He was in charge of rescue missions. Whenever a plane went down, 
crashed someplace, he was sent out with his team to do the rescue 
job. He had real responsibility. I lost track of him after the 
war. He registered in the first place from San Francisco. But 
a Christmas card did come back saying "unknown." 

Dorfman: But there was no attempt to segregate him. 
Koshland: Oh, no. 



Current Concerns on National Defense 



Dorfman: What problems and concerns related to national defense interest 
you now? 

Koshland: Well, at the moment, with a change of administration, I have to 
have an opinion. I think that Reagan is taking a gambler's 
chance in putting up a tough front and General Haig likewise. I 
think they're going to take us to the brink, but we won't go to 
war. It may be good. I have great respect for Haig even though 
normally a civilian is in charge of the department of defense and 
also the state department. But here is a man who I think may prove 
to be an outstanding man. I'm open-minded. 

I have no great faith in Reagan at all. I don't think he has 
sufficient knowledge of what he's talking about. But this fellow 
Haig being put in that job may be a very, very good thing. I do 
know this, that our military services are not up to the standards 
where they should be. We can't afford a long war at this time. 
A short war we might be able to afford. We haven't got the 
personnel, the trained personnel, or the access to trained 
personnel. But these people, these young men, say, "I won't fight, 
I won't go." Some of them say, "If it's a valid war I'll go after 
I've checked it over myself." But you can't. It takes six months 
minimum to make a soldier. We've been saved by the Western 
European powers in two wars before we got into it. 

Dorfman: How would you feel then about strengthening our armed forces? 

Koshland: The defense program? Definitely we need j.t. But that relates to 
personnel as well as materiel. I could argue about the B-52s and 
what particular instruments we need more, but I'm not an expert in 
that field. But I think we need trained personnel. It comes down 
to it at the end. You can do all the shooting from the air that 
you want to, but you've got to occupy the ground eventually to win. 

Dorfman: That's very interesting. 



120 



Dorfman: 



Dorfman: 
Koshland : 
Dorfman: 
Koshland: 

Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



Dorfman: 
Koshland ; 



Pete McCloskey, our congressman from our area, has said this very 
plainly. He spoke at the Commonwealth Club over a year ago. He 
was talking about the fact that we haven't got the trained 
personnel that we need in the service. With the sophisticated 
equipment that we have, the higher I.Q. of the average enlisted 
man is necessary. Some of these men currently are not equipped 
mentally to do what needs to be done with sophisticated equipment. 
Furthermore, you haven't got enough soldiers, in my humble opinion, 
to do the job that has to be done. It is unfortunate that you 
have to have a show of strength to get anyplace with the Soviet 
Union, but unfortunately we have to. So therefore, I would say 
we are either going to war or we're going to have peace. [laughs] 
But I think that Reagan is going to take us to the brink. Maybe 
he is going to get the Soviets to back down. He may; I don't know. 

So you agree with Pete McCoskey then? 

Yes, very definitely. 

Were you a supporter of Pete McCloskey? 



Yes, I always have been since he first ran. 
my friend, Shirley. 

You are a friend of the Blacks? 



He first ran against 



Well I know Charlie, too. I think we could say we're friends. 
I had them at the house for dinner when she [Shirley Temple Black] 
was first considering running for Congress. That was about 1967 
or '66 or thereabouts, I think. She was sitting next to me at my 
own dinner table at home. Arthur Younger was the congressman and 
he was going to retire. She said to me, "Congressman Younger 
spoke to me and suggested I run to take his place." He was not 
well. He was going to retire. I already was committed to Pete 
McCloskey. So I said, "Shirley, this isn't for you." I meant 
it and I was right. 

Why? 

At that point, she didn't know enough. She's a hard worker. She's 
an industrious worker. I've worked with her in health service 
planning. She's a dedicated person, a splendid person. But she 
wasn't ready for a congressman's job. She was listening to the 
ultra-conservative element in the Republican party making wild 
statements about the communism in Washington and all that sort of 
stuff. Then she goes and takes a job and she found out after she 
went to Ghana. She's learned and is waiting for a good job now 
from Reagan. 



121 



Koshland: 



Dorfman: 
Koshland: 
Dorfman: 
Koshland; 

Dorfman: 



Koshland: 



Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



A very interesting thing happened about eight or nine months ago. 
You know Martin Paley and his former assistant, Morton Raphael. 
They were executive director and, Morton Raphael, associate 
executive director of our Bay Area Health Facilities Planning 
Association taking in the nine counties of the Bay Area, to bring 
order out of chaos in the building of hospitals. Those two men, 
eight or nine months ago, invited all formal board members of 
that organization to lunch. They took us to the Bank of America 
Building for a delightful lunch with cocktails. They were the 
hosts. Shirley came. When we were sitting down at the table, we 
went around and everyone had to tell what he had been doing ever 
since they were on the board. Shirley told what she had been 
doing and said, "But presently unemployed." That was eight or 
nine months ago. But she is chairman or chief of protocol at the 
White House, as you know. She has a good deal of experience. I'd 
vote for her for almost anything now, but I think my advice to her 
at that time was right. 

You feel she's more seasoned now? 
She's ready a good person. 
Shall we stop here for today? 

It's up to you, 

[Interview 5: February 13, 1981]## 

Before we go on to your philanthropic, civic, and community work, I 
have a few additional questions from last time. First, with regard 
to Stone and Youngberg, in view of your experience as an investor, 
what criteria would you say would be most important in considering 
investments? 

Integrity of management and reasonably long experience in investment 
so that you learn some of the pitfalls, and finally, you 
eliminate people and organizations that don't measure up. I talk 
as if I'm a student of this. I'm not a studeri.; I'm just an 
average person. But you learn over the course of years that some 
people are more reliable than others and some people are out for 
the fast buck. 



What aids did you consider in selecting your investments? 



After all, I've done business with several brokerage houses, 
before I became a limited partner in Stone and Youngberg, on 
occasion I would do business with others. Friendships sort of 
developed you know someone and someone introduces someone and 
in the course of time, you develop your own opinion about the 
integrity, experience, and efficiency of organizations, whether 
it's in the profit-making field or the nonprofit- making field. 



Even 



122 



Dorfman: What would you say had been the greatest impediment or the greatest 
threat to you as an investor? 

Koshland: After 1930, when we moved out here from Boston, my situation was not 
as good as it had been because of our losses in our business. My 
investments, which I thought were good, turned out not to be good, 
due primarily to the situation of the Depression that came in 1932. 
But I learned then that all that glitters is not gold. So 
therefore, the stock purchases I made (we took money out of our 
business as we sold our inventory, and we made a partial 
distribution from time to time) on investments that seemed to be 
good investments well-known organizations that went way down. So 
my situation was quite different from what I thought it was two 
years earlier. 

Dorfman: That was too bad. 

Koshland: Well, you go with the times. But I learned a lesson there. 

Dorfman: What counsel would you be willing to give based on your experience? 

Koshland: Very little! You find that where you have fairly firm convictions 
on occasion, your hopes are dashed. You find out you didn't do so 
well. 

Dorfman: What general advice [would you give]? 
Koshland: Don't put all your eggs in one basket. 
Dorfman: To diversify? 

Koshland: .Absolutely. As I said before, that which you consider A-l today 
may not be A-l tomorrow. So you have to diversify to try to 
protect yourself against the future, whatever may come along. 

Dorfman: You mentioned that about the time that you left Boston, you were 
experiencing financial problems with your holdings. 

Koshland: That's right, I had a severe decrease. 

Dorfman: That is my next question. How did the Depression affect you 
financially? 

Koshland: When the Depression came along you have to tie that in with the 
closing of our business. As I said before, as cash became 
available for distribution I would invest it, and did not invest 
wisely. I invested in what were considered perfectly good stocks, 
like railroad stocks, but they didn't turn out to be so good. 



123 



Dorfman: Were you otherwise affected by the Depression? 
Koshland: No, not that I know of. 

Few- Women in China 



Dorfman: I have a few other questions about World War II. They relate to 
the fact that women were recruited during World War II and served 
in the armed forces. What was the experience with women in 
service as you knew it? 

Koshland: I saw very little of it. I don't know how active they were 

domestically before I went overseas. I had no contact with them 
when I served Louisiana, Barksdale Field, and also in Albuquerque. 
Overseas and in China, [it was] the last priority in our whole 
military set-up. 

No, women of the Women's Army Corps didn't come into China 
at all, except very, very few, probably management in the higher 
brackets. There were a few in the Red Cross when they finally 
opened the Red Cross place down in Kweilin. But as a group in 
numbers, I never saw women in the army. It just happened because 
of the fact I was in a wayward place in China. 

Dorfman: Why "properly so" when you say they were not permitted to come in 
in large numbers? 

Koshland: I don't know if I used that word advisedly. It changed after that. 
But remember, they went there because they were greatly in demand 
by the G.I.'SO They were a favored group of people and I'm not 
sure that from one point of view, you can say it was good for 
morale. From another point of view you can say it was a little 
costly. 

Dorfman: It might have been in terms of being a problem? 

Koshland: If you have an average army post in the United States, let alone 
overseas, you have so many men, very few women. They can become 
a handicap. They can become that, but as far as they were 
concerned I have no reason for believing that they didn't serve 
well. 

Dorfman: Are you saying then that their presence could have become a 
handicap? 

Koshland: Too many G.I.'s for one woman. Morally it was very difficult. 



124 



Dorfman: There was one group of women known as WASPs , the Women's Air 

Service Pilots. They ferried planes from factories to the air 
bases and sometimes directly to overseas theaters. 

Koshland: I had a cousin who was one of them. 
Dorfman: What was her name? 

Koshland: Her name was Ruth Koshland Hellman. She was married to Micky 
Hellman. Her husband was in the air force and she was a ferry 
pilot. She died about five years ago. 

Dorfman: Was she a former resident of the San Francisco-Bay Area? 

Koshland: Yes, she was the daughter of my Uncle Jesse Koshland and his wife, 
Edith Koshland, a wonderful girl. 

Dorfman: Those women are reported to have done a heroic job. 

Koshland: She was all over in the domestic field, transferring, as you> say, 
planes from one base to another or factory to a base. She was in 
there, I imagine, two or three years at least. 

Dorfman: What was the experience in China with these women? 

Koshland: I had none, except when toward the end there they opened a Red 
Cross place in Kweilin, in town there, for the G.I.'s. There 
were a few women involved there. There were no women on our base 
in Kweilin, the big Yangton Field. So I've had no experience 
except in the transport going west to India from Wilmington, 
California. We left on November 10, 1943, and landed in Bombay, 
December 26, 1943. There was one company of WAACS and sixty Red 
Cross women going over there to India and a few into China. But 
the company of WAACS was in India, never came into China. The 
sixty Red Cross girls, well, two or three of them, I'd guess, 
came into China. So I had no experience with them really. 

Dorfman: Were the Women's Air Service Pilots 
Koshland: None of them were there. 

Dorfman: Women did not come into China and were not involved with Chennault's 
command at all. 

Koshland: One exception comes to mind. The general had a female secretary. 
I believe she was a civilian. 

Dorfman: Would you say that the few women that you came into contact with 
were treated with the same degree of respect as male soldiers and 
officers? 



125 



Koshland: Oh, yes. I think so, yes. 

Dor f man: So far as rank and status as well? 

More on General Chiang Kai-shek 



Koshland: I think so. If I may break in here, when it comes to bias did I 
mention that Chiang Kai-shek would not permit any black soldiers 
to come into China. He was afraid of miscegenation. 

Dorfman: Yes, you did. Why do you think he held that attitude? 

Koshland: Well, it was a worldwide attitude, a white person and color, 

especially black unfortunately. Wherever you have troops, you 
have mingling with the local population and that affects the 
morals in the area. The average G.I., when he was paid in 
American cash in China, he had so much money, he could buy 
whatever he wanted to buy including women. It was very general 
throughout, even in the European theater. I understand there was 
the same situation there. 

Dorfman: That was the rule of the day? 

Koshland: Sure. They had come to these proverty ridden countries like 

India and China, there was nothing but poverty, just a few bankers 
and very few people had wealth. It was a very tough situation. 
A G.I. comes along with money to spend. He gets room and board 
and activity free. He has money in his pocket and they could buy 
women. I remember in Kweilin, in one of my squadrons, the captain 
or the major or whoever was in command told me that Chinese men 
came along with daughters in hand and were willing to sell their 
daughters for $200 two hundred dollars American translated into 
Chinese wan represents a good deal of money. 

Dorfinan: Did Chiang Kai-Shek express feelings about other groups; for 
example, for women? 

Koshland: I can't answer. In the first place, I met him once, as I told you, 
to shake his hand. I don't know of any other situation. 

Dorfman: But you did learn of his fear of having blacks in the country. 

Koshland: Oh, yes, because I had two quartermaster truck companies that 

were entirely black, except for a few officers, and they were not 
permitted to come into China at all. So that affected my group 
very much. 



126 



Dorfman: How did you receive orders that forbade them to come into China? 

Koshland: Well, it was the other way around. When I got into India and got 
orders to come to China, the orders were specifically for certain 
companies and certain squadrons by number. So the others were 
left out. They were assigned these two quartermaster truck 
companies that were going to India in the Chabua area and the Upper 
Brahmaputra Valley. I forget where the other one was. 

Dorfman: But you feel that that was a deliberate assignment? 
Koshland: Oh, I know it, yes. 



127 



IX DECADES OF PLANNING LEADERSHIP IN HEALTH, HOSPITAL AND 
SOCIAL WELFARE 



Dorfman: I would like to go on to your many years of donated time and 
participation. What led you to give so much of your time and 
attention to philanthropic, to civic and to community leadership 
since 1919. 



Family Tradition and Expectation 



Koshland: I think, as I probably have mentioned in the past to you, that by 
example, especially in the case of my mother who was active in 
various philanthropic affairs I'm trying to find the right word 
I accepted, it was a normal expectation to get involved when I 
got into business. I saw myself getting along in business, if I 
worked hard enough, and having time to devote to the community. 
But I think it was my mother's example, and my brother and sister, 
I think, would probably say the same thing. So when I landed in 
Boston, I was sent up to Lawrence to work in the scouring plant 
there, as I've told you. I lived in the YMCA there in Lawrence 
and I taught English to Italians who couldn't speak English. I 
had my first offensive into the welfare field. 

Then when I got to Boston, someone tackled me for a neighbor 
hood house a club. His name was Alan Morse. He just died two 
months ago; a lovely man. He became president of a bank and a 
splendid citizen. 

Dorfman: Was there anyone who drew you in in the beginning to these 
activities? 

Koshland: Oh, yes, I was a young person, single, just out of college. 
Someone got me into something. 

Dorfman: Maybe we can talk about those as you speak about the individual 
activities . 



128 



Koshland: I will have to look at the profile and see what year I did [it]. 
I remember one amusing thing. 

Dor f man: What was that? 

Koshland: This was after World War I. A fellow colleague of mine, Bill 

Romans of the old Romans family in Boston, he was in Camp Devens 
with the same outfit as I was in. He was very active. It was 
called the Advisory Committee of the Harvard Cancer Commission. 
It was a fancy name for a committee to raise money for the Carl 
B. Huntington Hospital there in Boston. 

After I left that three days later, I got a letter. This is 
not verbatim, but in effect the letter said, "By virtue of a 
resolution passed by the board of trustees of Harvard University 
in 1622, we hereby express our gratitude, et cetera, et cetera." 
It was a three hundred year old resolution they passed in Harvard 
to thank me for my services. [laughter] I got a great kick out 
of that! 

Dorfman: I'm sure you did! Do you think that Frances Stern influenced 
your deep interest in social welfare? 

Koshland: Very much so. 
Dorfman: How was that? 

Koshland: There were maybe ten or twelve of us in the same age group. We 

were all busy. One or two were lawyers and businessmen. Someone 
got us together with Frances Stern some way or other. Who it was 
I don't remember. We may have had contact with her directly. She 
was a devoted person and she was one of the first persons to bring 
nutrition studies into the hospital. She was very active in that. 
She went around the country. She was fairly well known nationally 
for this particular interest in nutrition studies and so on. 

The interesting thing about that is that every Friday evening 
va would meet in her home and discuss affairs of state, settle 
the affairs of state. Some were married. Well, I was married. 
I was married in 1920. Anyway, our wives all thought she was 
trying to dominate us to the detriment of our wives' interest. 
So none of the wives liked her. She was a darling, a wonderful 
woman. To this day, my wife says "she tried to dominate you." 

Dorfman: Do you think possibly it was the times? 

Koshland: We are all reasonably young. But that was the reaction of all 
the wives, not just one. 



129 



Dorfman: From 1919 to 1920, you were active in boy scouting. You were a 
scout master and assistant deputy commissioner in Boston. 

Koshland: Yes, until I got married. 

Dorfman: How did you become involved in scouting? 

Boy Scout Leadership, 1919-1920 



Koshland: I came out of the army and somebody from the Boy Scout Council 

was told that I had done a reasonable job in the army. I felt I 
had the time and the inclination to give something to the 
community through the Boy Scouts. The funny part of it was, I 
was invited to a meeting of the board of directors of the Boy 
Scout Council of Boston, the home of one of the old Brahmins on 
Beacon Hill. It was a nice coffee klatch. The paid executive 
came in there and he painted a rosy picture of what was happening, 
the strong organizations and the weak organizations. But the board 
members had never been in the field themselves. They didn't know 
what it was all about. I said, maybe to the man who got me into 
this "This is not for me. I want to be out in the field with 
the boy scouts, not on a council." So I resigned after the very 
first meeting I was there. 

Then I got active in the field. They gave me a Boy Scout 
troop down in the Italian section of town to organize. They were 
the most undisciplined group of youngsters. They paid no attention 
to you. I took them on outings outdoors on the weekend, out to 
some playground or some place in the woods, like a hike. They 
had no discipline whatsoever in their homes. They paid no attention. 
It was very interesting. 

Dorfman: And challenging. 

Koshland: Very challenging, but when I got married I dropped out of that. 



Associated Jewish Philanthropies, Boston, Massachusetts, 19 22-1930 



Dorfman: Then from 1922 to 1930, you were a director on the board of the 
Associated Jewish Philanthropies 

Koshland: They changed the word "federation." The title to it is Associated 
Jewish Philanthropies, the equivalent of the federation. 



130 



Dorfman: How did you become involved in that organization? 

Koshland: I had been active in fund raising. That started in 1916. The 
overseas JDC [Joint Distribution Committee] program was out for 
what they thought was a lot of money in 1916. I was very active 
in that in the fund raising program of the federation. Before 
that I got involved in committee work of one kind or another 
and got on the board. That was interesting. It was known as the 
Orphan Asylum, again an institution. There was conflict, a real 
hostility between the board of directors and the women's 
auxiliary. I was asked to sit on that board and I was really a 
judge ready to placate the women who were a militant group. They 
were all for the good, but they wanted to run the show and the 
board of directors was a bunch of old fuddy-duddies in their minds, 
It was very interesting. But I was to go on the board simply to 
bring the two of them together if possible. 

About 1929 we had a study made because Maurice Hexter was 
leaving Boston as executive director of our federation. The new 
man, Ben Selekman, came in and took over and he asked that a 
survey be made, a study made, of all the institutions that were 
members of or the constituents of the federation. He was very 
smart in doing that. Fortunately, one of us, Maurice Hexter, was 
a trained social worker and one of my closest friends to this 
day. He became so good at fund raising organizing and fund 
raising that he didn't stick to the social work aspects of his 
job and that was very unfortunate. But he did a magnificent job. 

Then, of course, he went from Boston over to Palestine 
representing Felix Warburg for the Joint Distribution Committee. 
It was called Joint Distribution Committee or Jewish Agency for 
Palestine. It was prior to the time of the UJA [United Jewish 
Appeal] . 

Dorfman: Do you remember who else served on that board of the Associated 
Jewish Philanthropies with you? 

Koshland: The outstanding people were Louis Kirstein, who was the top man 
in Filene's store; a wonderful man. Cap [Abraham C.] Rachesky 
was his enemy. It was the other way around. Cap Rachesky was 
a banker, a good man but he was rather vain, and he considered Lou 
Kirstein an upstart. So we had two factions there for awhile. 

There was another community fight there such as you have 
in other communities. The Beth Israel Hospital was a very small 
hospital out in some not the fine residential area and they 
wanted to build a real hospital. It was "south of the slot." 
The federation at that time was managed by the German Jews, and 
there was that conflict between the two [groups]. The German 



131 



Koshland: Jews were against the expansion of this hospital which did not 
belong to the federation. Then it would come in and we all 
thought it would wreck the federation which had been the 
experience all over the country. Hospitals with their increasing 
deficits, tended to make it difficult for the other social welfare 
agencies and services to continue. So finally, Hexter talked me 
into going along with it, and I did go along with the program. At 
the final victory dinner, I remember there were eleven hundred 
people there, and it was something like $270 a plate which was 
unknown in those days. That was tremendous, the regular practice 
here almost daily nowadays. [laughs] 

At this victory dinner, Cap Rachesky, who was a president 
of a bank, said, "Now in honor of one of the finest brothers 
who ever lived" I forget the exact working "I will donate 
$200,000." His brother was Israel Rachesky who never did a goll- 
darn thing in the community at all. There's nothing bad about 
him, nothing good! That pledge never was paid,, He had a row 
with the federation or the hospital people and it never was paid. 

Dorfman: That was too bad. That must have caused many ill-feelings. 
Koshland: Sure, it did. 



San Mateo County Unemployment Relief Administration Chairman, 
1932-1934 



Dorfman: From 1932 to 1934 you became chairman of the San Mateo County 
Unemployment Relief Administration. 

Koshland: That is correct. 

Dorfman: How did you happen to become involved with that organization? 

Koshland: Late in '31, for some reason or another, I got involved in the 
relief organization here in San Francisco. 



Koshland: The investigating part, the social work part, was by this woman 
who was a very fine person as executive of the Family Service 
Agency at Eddy and Gough. That building is still there. I think 
of this everytime I go by to go to the freeway. It's just a block 
away from the entrance to the freeway. I was there from October 
until February 1 of 1932. I was assigning men to unemployment 
relief programs, work relief programs throughout the city. The 



132 



Koshland: investigation to determine the qualifications of people was not 
mine. But these men would come in a terribly sad thing these 
big, husky men would come in and say, "I never expected to receive 
charity." Some of them broke down in tears. 

Then my friend, Fran [Frances] Lilienthal, in San Mateo knew 
what I was doing. She was. active with women in the Red Cross 
group in San Mateo. They had a man, a retired navy captain, Ed 
Macauley, who was going to head a voluntary organization to meet 
the unemployment situation. So they told him about me and 
introduced me to him. He asked me to join him which I did. We 
developed a pretty fair organization, I believe, all Volunteers 
except for one man at headquarters who was my assistant, as I 
recall. That was 1932. 

We did pretty well because Eddy Macauley was then called up 
to run the state show later that year, and I became the chairman. 
He was a typical old navy salt. He was quite a character. He 
was a good man, and he had the name as the head of it. I say 
immodestly I did the work. He had an idea he was going to run 
relief stations and hand out money to people. We never handed out 
a nickel to anybody. Well, that may be an exaggeration. 

But it was entirely a work relief program. I talked him 
into it. I had no difficulty. He said, "Go ahead." I organized 
everyone of the seventeen communities in San Mateo County to get 
a local committee organized and we did give some funds. [There 
were] no public funds at that time. But then we got the board 
of supervisors to get the people to vote $350,000, which was a 
lot of money in those days for a suburban area. In San Mateo 
County, the people voted for it. So we had $350,000 to use for 
work relief programs and we gave out relief based upon a man's 
family and his needs. 

Dorfman: Did the men do work in exchange for payment? 

Koshland: It was all a work relief program. One of our committee members, 
George. Davis, was the head of the San Francisco Watei Department 
properties in San Mateo County. He knew every blade of grass in 
the county. He was chairman of our project committee. So 
whenever we wanted to do something in a certain area, we would 
try to get work relief projects near enough to be handy to people 
because, after all, thay had very few automobiles. It was a 
terrible situation. We wouldn't have any work projects that were 
the responsibility of the board through their budgeting activities 
So these were new found projects that were needed, desired, but 
not included in the county budget. 



133 



Koshland: We sent men out to all these projects. We built fire trails 
throughout San Mateo County, storm sewers many projects like 
that. He was chairman of that group. He did a splendid job. 

Dorfman: So there was a great deal being done for the community, for the 
county, as well as assistance 

Koshland: Yes, the county got the benefit of it. Those fire trails are 
still in existence not that they haven't been taken care of. 
There are remnants of some of the work that was done there. We 
were in far better fashion than San Franicsco's relief organization 
because San Mateo County had 440 square miles of suburban rural 
areas and forests and so on where you could have work relief 
programs. San Francisco is 47 square miles and you have the same 
size of population virtually, and San Francisco couldn't find 
enough work relief projects. They'd have men in a vacant lot 
digging and passing a pick ax and shovels and whatnot from one 
to another. They had three or four or five men doing one man's 
job. They didn't have the opportunity for projects that we had 
in San Mateo, so I think we were in a position to do something 
more for the community and get some benefit out of it and the men 
got the benefit out of it. The man would get paid based upon the 
size of his family and his needs. 



Issues 



Dorfman: What were the issues within the administration, the county relief 
adminis tration? 

Koshland: I developed this whole program of volunteers throughout and finally 
the regional head for the federal government came to me one day 
and said, "The unemployment situation is becoming chronic and 
you've got to get some professionals in here." I said, "Okay," 
and I did that. 

The next thing I knew I was asked to come to a board of 
supervisors meeting. A woman, Mona Christensen, she was grand. 
She was a fighter, a militant fighter, but she was on her own 
fighting for the men in her area in East Menlo Park and that area. 
So she complained. The board asked me to sit down with them and 
explain. I remember one man saying, "Mr. Koshland wants to put 
these good people out of work and bring in professionals and so 
on." I said, "Mr. Chairman" because I remember this very clearly 
"I didn't say I was going to put local people out of work. I will 
go so far as necessary to get good professionals to do what has 
to be done." I remember that so clearly. Interesting times. 



134 



Koshland: Our board of supervisors at that time was a very weak bunch, very 
weak. 

Dorfman: Who was on the board at that time? 

Koshland: They're all dead now. I couldn't tell you. I remember Johnny 
Poole from the Redwood City area. He was the one who came to 
me and said, "Mrs. Christensen and a group are coming to complain 
about what you are doing. I'm going to make a speech and talk and 
sympathize with them. Pay no attention to what I say." He knew 
what I was doing was the right thing, but he was a weak sister 
himself. I remember him. 

There was another supervisor from the Daly City area. He 
was talking with me about something one day. I said, "Just 
remember, these are private organizations." It was not a public 
organization that we developed. So later on somebody came up at 
an open board meeting. He threw some project at me, whatever it 
was. He said, "Remember, Koshland, your private organization is 
your problem." You meet all kinds. 

Dorfman: Were there other issues or other conflicts within that organization 
that you can recall? 

Koshland: We had one very serious one. The NIRA [National Industrial 

Recovery Act] came along with a National Relief Administration 
with Hugh Johnson the head of it We were carrying on our 
program. We had our card index of all our people. We had a 
complaint from a carpenter that he was not being put on that 
the head of the carpenter's union wouldn't put him on jobs because 
he wasn't a member of the union. 

I conducted a series of meetings in my own home with my 
board present, my unemployment relief admins itration. We went 
over this thing thoroughly. It was almost like appearing before 
a court. We ended up with a decision that Joe [Joseph] Cambiano, 
who was the head of the carpenter's union, had changed some of 
the cards as to qualifications. He was a member of my board of 
directors of this group, and he had done things which, according 
to our findings, were contrary to what was appropriate and proper. 

I remember it very well. The meeting ended at say five 
o'clock in the afternoon at my house and along comes a man, as I 
open the door, with a subpoena for me to appear before the United 
States attorney here because of the complaints of this unemployed 
carpenter that he had not been given wo'rk. Our investigation 
had just arrived at a decision that we had erred, that the 
complaint was justified. 



135 



Koshland: 



Dorfman: 
Koshland: 

Dorfman: 
Koshland; 



Dorfman: 
Koshland : 

Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



So we found fault with a member of our own board very definitely. 
The next morning I went into the United States attorney's 
office in San Francisco, and he showed me what the complaint was 
and I said, "Here are my notes from what happened yesterday 
afternoon." We found fault with our own organization. Nothing 
ever happened. I could imagine headlines about this. Fortunately, 
nothing happened. I'll never forget that experience. 

The sad part of this was two years later I think the San Francisco 
Chronicle special writer heard about the situation in San Mateo 
County, what an official had done, a labor official, and so on. 
He didn't mention names, but the whole article was a sensational 
article about corruption and unemployment relief in San Mateo 
County. Two years later [he] never had the honesty to say that 
this had been taken care of. We had taken immediate action two 
years previously to correct it, and he never said that in the 
article. 

And it took courage to make that correction. 

But he never did. I saw Cambriano about ten years ago at a funeral 
and we shook hands like good old friends. 

Then in 1933 you became junior vice commander in chief of the 
Military Order of the World War. What was that organization? 

An officer's organization. I had been somewhat active in the 
earliest days after World War I. Veterans got together for no 
good reason [laughs] for reunions. Then I came out here in 1930. 
They had a chapter here. It was falling apart and I worked my 
head off for quite a few months to try to pull it together again 
and did not succeed. Now it's a going concern, but I failed. 

But the organization continued. 

Many, many years later though. I had dropped out. They had no 
cause for being really, "in my opinion. But sometime during a 
period there I was given that title. I never attended a meeting. 

Who was in that organization with you? Do you recall? 

When I was active so-called active on the national level, there 
was a man, a lovely man. He was one of the top men for oie of the 
big packers in Chicago Colonel Wentworth. He is the only one I 
can remember off hand. I did meet him on occasion. [It's for] 
reunions, although they do have a central office in Washington, D.C. 
to try to influence legislation having to do with the military 
services. They do some good, there is no doubt about that. 



Dorfman: That is the avowed purpose? 



136 



Koshland: That is the avowed purpose, an organization to be of assistance 

to the military and at the same time to have reunions and pleasant 
get-togethers. I get notices all the time. A man telephoned me 
the other day. I never go to a meeting. I'm a life member, but 
I have never gone to a meeting for twenty-five years, at least! 
[He said], "Won't you come to a meeting?" I said, "I'm too busy." 
[laughter] 



California Council for Social Work 

Dorfman: From 1933 to 1939 you were a member of the board of directors of 
the California Council for Social Work. 

Koshland: They were known then as the California Council of Social Work. 
Then they changed the last name to social welfare. That is an 
organization that did some good work. It had some good people. 
Hattie Sloss was very active in getting people to give money to 
it. But the professional workers themselves did not bring in the 
lay people as they should have, in my opinion. It didn't develop 
as it should have. It finally went out of existence about ten 
years ago I'd say. 

Dorfman: This was a private organization? 

Koshland: It was like any of our nonprofit organizations, yes. 

Dorfman: What was the purpose of this organization? 

Koshland: It was to get together and improve the lot of people, the techniques 
and so on. They failed to bring in the lay people as they should 
have. It was run almost entirely by the professionals. They 
failed in their main purpose in bringing in the lay people. They 
should have been brought into the picture to mix with the 
professionals and learn. 



Federation of Jewish Charities, 1938-1940, President 



Dorfman: In 1938 until 1940 you were president of the Federation of Jewish 
Charities in San Francisco. What can you tell me about that 
organization? 

Koshland: It was a very small, simple organization. Hyman Kaplan was 
executive director of both the Family Service Agency and the 
federation, a dual title, a much simpler organization than exists 



137 



Koshland: today. At that time we were about six constituent agencies and 
it was all local. Now, later on about 1955 or thereabouts, the 
federation and the welfare fund combined and formed the Jewish 
Welfare Federation of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin 
counties. 

Dor f man: What were your duties in this organization as president? 

Koshland: I worked very closely with Hyman Kaplan, the executive. He was 
a brilliant man. Unfortunately, he had a terrible case of 
arthritis which handicapped him in carrying out his duties. But 
he was a brilliant man. He understood social planning and he 
and I worked together very well, I believe. I learned a great 
deal and tried to carry out what I learned in the organization. 
But at that time, and it may exist to some extent now (I don't 
know), your local professional of an agency didn't want to submit 
to any domination from the central agency. There is always a 
certain amount of fear there, unfortunately. 

When Walter Heller was president of the Jewish Welfare Fund, he 
tried to get a meeting of all the agency heads and the professionals 
didn't come to it. 

Dorfman: Do you remember what year that was? 
Koshland: No. 



Issues 



Dorfman: So the issue then was local control. 

Koshland: The federation had no authority in the first place. It's a 
confederation. But you want people in spirit to be working 
together because what you need is good planning for the whole 
community. Family service has to get along with the health people 
and related agencies, and then bring community centers into the 
picture taking care of well people, I've been a sworn advocate 
of social planning, both in the health field and the hospital 
field, as well as in the welfare field. But unfortunately, there 
is good and there is bad that comes out of this organization. Each 
agency develops a spirit, a fraternity, and gets the strong parochial 
backing of its board of directors and its professionals. You come 
along trying to bring them into social planning what is best for 
the community and may call for some re-arrangement and they rebel. 
We need good social planning. We have had it here, but to get 
the agencies away from the parochial attitudes is difficult. 



138 



Koshland: Look at the United Way. There are people who will give generously 
to individual agencies and give in a niggardly fashion to the 
United Way. The difficulty is that the United Way-Community Chest 
program is impressionable. When you are a member of a hospital 
board or a welfare agency or a family service agency, a group or 
board, you develop a great loyalty to that organization, which is 
splendid and it's fine. But there is no reason why the board of 
directors shouldn't be educated to adjusting their program to the 
needs of the community. You have an outstanding example of that 
failure in the hospital field. We'll get to that in due time. 

Dorfman: Tell me, who were the strong personalities within that federation 
of Jewish charities at that time? 

Koshland: I can't think of anyone who was a strong personality. A strong 
personality was Hyman Kaplan. He was it. The fact is he was 
loaned to the city for the unemployment relief program in 1932. 
He took charge of the unemployment relief program. The president 
of the federation was asked to let him work for the city. So 
during a period of I'd say two or three years there, he was 
working really for the city. 

Dorfman: Do you remember what years they were? 
Koshland: I'd say from 1932 to '34 approximately. 



Western States Regional Council for Jewish Federations and 
Welfare Funds, 1939-1941 



Dorfman: Then from 1939 to 1941 you were president of the Western States 
Regional Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds. 

Koshland: Now they've cut out the welfare funds. A year or two ago they 
changed the name to the Council of Jewish Federations period. 
Their organization nad a regional setup. There was always a 
professional out here representing the organization and I 
happened to be the president there for two years. 

Dorfman: What were your duties during that time? 

Koshland: We had annual meetings, I remember, in each of the communities 

around the western region. We had a good, active group. People 
would come to the meeting in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San 
Diego, Tucson or Phoenix, Arizona. I remember Portland and 
Seattle. It functioned very well, I believe. 



138a 



United Jewish Welfare Fund Campaign, 1939-40 



Confi 



erence 



Jewish Problems Are Thrashed Out at Sessions 



Election of Robert J. Koshland of San 
Francisco to the presidency of the 
Western States Kccion, Council of Jew 
ish Federations ;ui<! Welfare Funds, 
succeeding Jesse II. Sieinhart. also m' 
the Hay Gty, wav a hiiihlit'.hl of tli,- 
fiiurili annual VVi-siern States regional 
conference, of Jewish community leaders 
and agencies. 

Other officers clu, ><.!! arr Mili-m 
F.amch, I.<is Ani'ilt-;, an<l Jaint--, I 
White, Salt Lake Ciiy, vice-prcsidi -in - ; 
l-cciii SIoss. Jr., San Franri-M-o. in., 
urcr, and Reulnu l\ Kesiiik. San IT.,,. 
eisco, secretary. 

One of the major resolutions adopti d 
pledged the regional emi f creiire "u, 
urge upon every community in America 
Uic necessity for iinnutiliale and eann'St 
cfforl to raise the l.um'st ]>ossililr- MIMIS 
for work of the t'niti-d Jewish A|i|ital 
for Rnfuj-'ces and Overseas Nreils mid 
all other approver! jigrneies liriii|(int.' aid 
I" (ilir rKstresSC.il ]>i'opli.- ovi-i'M'as " 

From a round-tal.| ( ic-.-ion on "l ; tiinl 



Kaisiiin foi Sni.ilK r Cunnniinilii's" lainr hand, and that announcement of ga- 
the suggestion that a luulgei s^'v-if >inp eral total of subscriptions is not favored. 
the aycncie> ID l-i- supporied and the Consensus was thai \\hilc no solicitation 

is to U- inadi of non-Jews, volunteer 
siili'M|>ii<iiis IriMii them will be ac- 



.\i:i.:lu-r round laMi- nicclinR on "Vo- 
lional tiiiidaiu-i'. ' IriiMitatiou and Job 
i.i iiii'f.iaiiiMi" rrviilird in the con- 
i-icn ili.ii Jewi-li \oialiottal guidance 




ADDITIONAL 
CONFERENCE NEWS 

Melvyn Douglas 1 Speech P. I 

Harry L. Lurie's Speech P. 9 

Editorial Comment P. 6 



KOBT.KT J. KOSHLAND 

.IMIOIIIII- ui '(., ; .illiii-.Miliii- - ; :.i:l!i L. 

liicpared ai il.. 1 ':jvl "I i\.^\ I'.-IMI 
pai^n and i,..i u :t- rout In .!<>!. 

It fnrllur u.:- -K^xesi.-il !; ,i C:MII 
paiuns shnii'<! I>|MP u idi \-,\- -ije :in 
nounri-inenl- i i 'i'i-ri ipiii>ii . : . .id'- in 



:njnn ie^. ,-idniiiii~u-ied hy Jewish cftm- 
iniu.iiiis i'r Ji-i>h \outli, are neces- 
s:iiv t:i '.I''' inoileni economy, although 
\ >n .1:11. ti.it i;nidai.i ( . in its essence, is a 
}..-:ir..,1 i.-uih piolil.in and ns such can 
l I I i h. nulled h> llif pnlilie schools. 

\\.,ik "i ihc .li i-\\ \ oealional liuid- 
a<-e ';:I.,MU '!" Sa:i I'lan.'isco \vus dc- 
- nl il .i> an i-sainjile ol an attempt to 
n.n i .li. iinl.l nf Jewish youth. 



139 



Dorfman: What was your primary concern at these meetings? 

Koshland: Getting more of the right people to participate. Once a person 
comes in and participates and feels that he is part of an 
organization and his program, you've got someone who can be made 
into a worthwhile member, not someone who just attends meetings 
and votes aye or nay, who sits there and doesn't know what it's 
all about. I think one of the problems we had there was getting 
the lay people who should be in. For instance, down in Fresno we 
had hostility to us. 

Dorfman: Why was that? 

Koshland: Greenberg, the rabbi there, the main factotum in Fresno, didn't 
want this outside organization to come in and tell him what to 
do." We never told people what to do. We discussed with them 
the development of the program, et cetera. But he was opposed to 
it. We had an annual meeting in Fresno and none of the Fresno 
people showed up; there may have been one or two. Ike Ginsberg, 
the doctor, probably did. He was a great guy. But generally 
speaking, the people didn't come to it and they weren't told about 
it. 

Dorfman: Were there other localities that felt the same way about the 
organization other than Fresno? 

Koshland: I don't recall any that we had to the same degree. I remember 
going to Sacramento once or twice, and it was very difficult to 
get an organization together. If it is difficult to get an 
organization of Jews together for a thing like that, there is a 
reason for it. Sometimes it is due to the professional [being] 
fearful sometimes. So I find fault with the professionals as 
well as the lay people. 

Dorfman: Who served on that board with you in that organization, in this 
council? 

Koshland: Oh, good lord, you'd have to think of people in every one of 
these about eight western states. 

Dorfman: Can you remember who else was an officer? 

Koshland: Block took my pxace what was his first name? He is in the shoe 
business up in Seattle. We had Mr. Shemansky from Seattle who 
never came to a meeting. He was made a president the first year 
at the first meeting in 1936, I remember. We purposely selected 
a non-San Franciscan because it was some San Francisco people who 
spearheaded this organization, we wanted to be sure that this was 



140 



Koshland: not going to be called a San Francisco dominated organization. 
So we got Shemansky from Seattle to be the first president and 
he never attended a meeting. 

Dorfman: Were there others who accepted positions and did not attend 
meetings? 

Koshland: I don't remember. I happened to remember that case. 

My good friend, Julius Meier, at that time I met him before 
he became governor of the state of Oregon. He was a very good 
friend of mine. We had a meeting the second year up in Portland. 
He didn't come to it at all himself. 

So it took time to bring people to the inside who didn't get 
along with the outsiders. You must remember that we had programs 
that were instructional, very worthwhile programs, good speakers. 
We had real participation, but sometimes you had local organizations 
say, "What the hell do we need these people for?" 

Dorfman: Again? 

Koshland: Again. Even here in the childcare field, we were working a long 

time in San Francisco with an antiquated set-up for taking care of 
children. The need for an orphan asylum had ceased to exist, yet 
you still have the Pacific Hebrew Orphan Asylum and Home Society. 
There is a whole story behind that thinking back to the late 
twenties. We were getting away from orphan asylums that had no 
orphans in them. They were simply normal children from maladjusted 
homes. They encouraged foster care placing children in foster 
homes, not in big institutions. 

That trouble in San Francisco we had the outstanding man, 
Dr. Langer, who had made a name for himself as the head of the 
orphan asylum because he brought in the cottage system which is 
a step away from that high degree of centralization. But he 
wouldn't go along with the foster home idea at all. He thought 
he did better. Later on, a study proved that he was wrong; I 
think it proved it. 

Dorfman: You felt he was wrong, as well? 

Koshland: Oh, yes. That same situation occurred all over the country. 

Dorfman: About what year was Dr. Langer in charge? 

Koshland: I'd say probably 1905 to around 1935. Then Bonaparte took his 
place not Napolean Bonaparte [laughs]. It was Joe [Joseph]. 



141 



Koshland: At a meeting in 1959 of the Council of Federations and Welfare 

Funds here, a doctor from Newark, New Jersey came out, and he was 
well primed on the situation. In a round about way we got him 
to be invited to the board of the orphan asylum here in San 
Francisco. He went there and made a speech at a lunch meeting, 
I believe it was. He gave a talk about child care, changing 
procedures, and methods and treatments, and going into foster 
homes from the institutional approach. 

So during the course of his talk, he talked about the Child 
Welfare League, which was a great national organization, the 
parent organization really of all the child care organizations. 

## 

Dorfman: You were telling me about the doctor. 



Homewood Terrace and the Child Welfare League 



Koshland: It was very interesting. He came out and he spoke at this regular 
board meeting of the orphan asylum and, of course, Homewood 
Terrace. They had already changed the name, fortunately. In the 
course of it he mentions the Child Welfare League. Jean Jacobs, 
Mrs. Tevis Jacobs in San Francisco, who was the president of the 
organization at that time she herself was the product of an 
orphan asylum in Los Angeles. She was the one forward looking 
person who was willing to accept the change, in spite of her early 
history. 

Anyway, so someone asked the question, "Don't we belong to 
the Child Welfare League? We belong to everything else." They 
were told, "No, you do not belong." "Well, let's send a check; 
let's belong." I'm dressing this up a little bit in the way in 
which I talk about it, but in effect that is what happened. I 
was not there. [He said] "You will have to ask the survey. You 
won't be accepted in the Child Welfare League until they have 
surveyed the organization." So they asked for it and they got a 
survey and it was the most damning survey you can imagine. The 
head of the organization, the professional head of the organization, 
their methods of treatments, were subject to severe criticism. 

Now, there is a perfect illustration of a board of directors 
being so taken in by the professional head that they don't study 
the philosophy of care themselves. There is much information 
always available in every category or field. Here was a board 
of directors that was patting itself on the back for doing a grand 
job with the cottage system for children and, oh, it was a very 
damning report. 



142 



Dorfman: This was about the same time then, would you say? 

Koshland: No, this happened to be about 1959 or 1960 at the time of the 
council meeting here. 

Dorfman: What was the name of this doctor? 

Koshland: Dr. Hyman, a very nice man. He was on the Child Welfare League, 
so he knew the score. 

Dorfman: And his first name? 

Koshland: You're asking too much! [laughter] 



San Mateo County American Red Cross, Board of Directors, 
1946-1950 



Dorfman: Then from 1946 to 1950 you were very active on the board of directors 
of San Mateo County American Red Cross. What activities did you 
participate in through the Red Cross as a member of the board of 
directors? 

Koshland: That's after the war, 1946 to 1950, because I was chairman of the 
disaster relief organization prior to World War II before I went 
into the service. I was chairman of the committee, rescue and 
disaster relief, until I went into the service. 

Dorfman: Was that in San Mateo County? 

Koshland: Yes, in 1941. So in 1946 when I came back from China, after I 
got out of the service, they asked me to go on the board of 
directors and thereby hangs a tale, too. 

This organization, the San Mateo chapter of the Red Cross, 
had been run for years and years by a half a dozen women, lovely 
women, devoted women, but they didn't know the score. Helen 
Cheseborough was an outstanding person. She was the head of it; 
a wonderful person. I sound like a chronic trouble maker of 
organizations. [laughs] Maybe I am; I don't know. 



143 



A Catalyst for Change 



Dorfman: A catalyst for change perhaps. 

Koshland: I'm glad you put it that way! So I said one day, "This organization 
is wrong. The American Red Cross is a quasi-public organization 
chartered by Congress. This belongs to the people and we should 
have an organization here with a board of directors that is 
representative of the county, geographically as well as otherwise." 
So I was immediately made chairman of a committee to reorganize it. 

I had two other people with me. One was a judge who was 
active in San Mateo, Judge Joseph Branson [spells name]. I've 
forgotten the other person. We drew up bylaws and it was accepted 
by the half a dozen women who ran the show. I remember Mr. Martin 
was the chairman of it at the time. I can't think of his first 
name. Anyway, he was a member of the socially elite society. I 
was on the board when the changes were taking place in the whole 
structure and so on. Somebody would come up and Helen would say, 
"Well, Bob, what do we do about this?" It happened once in a 
while maybe, because they were very skeptical about this other 
change with a much broader attitude toward service to the community. 
I don't know how much they have changed the organization's bylaws, 
but to this day the Red Cross is more generally represented with 
the public than it was. 

Dorfman: Was that a difficult role for you to assume at that time? Did 
you have support within the organization? 

Koshland: They were skeptical, I remember, but they went along with it. I 

have not been active except to help them in fund raising in recent 
years. 



Jewish Welfare Fund, San Francisco, Board of Directors, 1946-1955 



Dorfman: Then in 1946 until 1955, you were a member of the board of directors 
of the Jewish Welfare Fund in San Francisco. 

Koshland: They had a top heavy organization. They had seventy-five people 
on the board. It sounds good, but a small executive committee 
was really running the show and I objected Oliver Wendell Holmes 
Jr.! [laughs] 

Dorfman: You played the role very well! 



144 



Koshland: It ended up anyway with the merger of the two organizations the 
Jewish Welfare Federation and the Jewish Welfare Fund. 

Dorfman: How much did you have to do with that eventual merger? 

Koshland: I was on the committee. I also got the brickbats because when 
it came to what you had was a board of directors of the 
federation and you had a board of directors of the welfare fund, 
and to merge the two of them called for x-number of people to be 
on what we thought of as the bylaws committee with the right 
number of people for proper representation on the central board. 
This meant that a lot of people on both boards were going to be 
cut out. 

I was made chairman of the nominating committee and made one 
or two enemies for life because certain people were dropped. In 
one case in particular, and I won't mention names, one person 
was well in his eighties. He devoted himself to the Welfare Fund 
very well for years, but he said to me more than once, not 
apropos of this merger, that he was too old and he ought to be 
getting out of things. So I took him at his word and when it 
came to the nominations, I was instrumental in dropping him off. 
He was well in his eighties and he never forgave me for that. 

Dorfman: He never did? 

Koshland: He never did and I explained it to his children who understood 
perfectly. 

Dorfman: Were there other issues on that board? 

Koshland: On the board over the merger? Not that I know of. 

Dorfman: How about other than the merger. Were there other concerns for 
the board other than the merger? 

Koshland: I don't think of anything at the moment. I did not become a member 
of the new board of directors. 



National Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, Vice- 
President, 1946-1955 



Dorfman: You went to the role of vice-president of the National Council of 
Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds in 1946 until 1955. 



145 



Koshland: It was a wild guess of mine, those dates. Those dates may not be 

accurate because I did some guessing when I made this out. [refers 
to profile] I assume it is approximately correct. 

Dorfman: What accomplishments did you participate in in that role as vice- 
president? 

Koshland: Nothing in particular. In fact, I didn't do my duty because I 
did not go to meetings as I should have gone. In 1937 I was 
invited to chair some meeting. No one had gone from the West 
Coast to these council meetings. They had formed this in 1932 
or '33. Finally, they got San Francisco to join and as bait I 
was asked to chair meetings in Philadelphia for two or three 
days with categorical aides, and to deliver a speech which was 
virtually Hyman Kaplan. I was his mouthpiece. He did the work 
and I did the speaking. So that was the beginning of someone 
from the West Coast going to the council meetings away from here. 

In 1936 we formed the local western states region. 
Dorfman: So that was the beginning of the involvement. 

Koshland: Nineteen- thirty-seven was the beginning of the involvement so 

therefore, out of their kind and generous thoughts, they made me 
a vice-president and then I never functioned. I functioned out 
here locally in the Western States Region Council of Jewish 
Federations and Welfare Funds , but I never really functioned 
nationally. I've been in close touch with them locally and 
nationally. 



146 



X FOUNDING PENINSULA HOSPITAL DISTRICT, 1947 



Dorfman: Then your next contribution centers around an interest which seems 
to be central to your activities and that is in hospitals. You 
became president of the Peninsula Hospital District from 1947 
until 1962. How did that come about? 



Forming and Funding the District 



Koshland: A friend of mine from San Mateo, Luther Carr, at the behest of 

some of the doctors in central San Mateo County in a three-cities 
area Burlingame, San Mateo, and Hillsborough. They were crowded 
in Mills Hospital. They needed more beds. They tried to think 
of every way they could expand the hospital and they couldn't 
expand it on the property. It was junior college property and they 
wanted to buy it. But, it wasn't for sale. So they had to look 
elsewhere and they finally came upon the idea of forming a 
district. It was a very well-known national program, a federal 
program, to set up by the facilities and make new beds available 
in rural areas. Anyway, a federal program was set up by the Hill- 
Burton Act in 1944 to make hospitals available in rural areas. 
A few years later this was expanded to include urban areas. So 
therefore, finally, reluctantly, the doctors decided, "We'll have 
to go district." They were fearful that it was the way to 
socialized medicine. 



They got Luther Carr, who was a well-known attorney in San 
Mateo County, to head up a committee. They made some kind of a 
study and decided they needed another hospital and to form a 
district. He got me into it there and then another doctor, Meade 
Mohun, got me into it. We developed a little simple organization 
to go around the area to get people to vote for the establishment 
of a district. So in 1947 we went to all the people in the area. 
We had a professional help us. The vote was twenty-two to one in 
favor of forming a district. 



147 



Koshland: To show you how people think in terms of money, when it came to 
the first bond issue and three million dollars, the vote was 
only four to one in favor. Anyone would vote to form a district, 
but then when it came to charging themselves with money it was only 
four to one to build the hospital. The hospital, the day it was 
opened, cost five million dollars. I was at a meeting there the 
other night and you couldn't replace that for fifty million today. 
But it has expanded twice since that time. That has a knowledgeable 
board of directors, the best hospital board of directors I know of; 
a splendid group, a splendid group of men. They devote time to 
it. They have committee meetings. There are only five persons, 
according to state law, on the hospital board. It has certain 
weaknesses. If you added a few more people it would be good. On 
the other hand, it has functioned so well they have never changed 
it. They could. A hospital district being a public body runs 
the risk of political interference with its management. This is 
something I always feared. 

I was at a dinner the other night. One of the board members, 
the president of the board, was retiring. They had a small dinner 
for him and my wife and I were there. That was last week. So I 
am in touch with them about once or twice a year to talk things 
over. It's pleasant for me because having been one of the founders, 
one develops a sense of possession which you have to look out for. 
I stay away. I don't interfere. 

Dorfman: I understand that you were very influential in the building of 
that hospital. 

Koshland: Well, each one of the five members did 20 percent of the work. It 
was a very dedicated group. You see, we were subject to election. 
It's a public body. The district is part of the state of 
California. So the board of directors is subject to election. 
I was fearful in the beginning in particular that some nurse would 
give the wrong medicine to someone, someone would die, and through 
carelessness I had visions of them saying, "Get the rascals out." 
I also was fearful that there would be politicians in this thing 
because we were a public body. So we tried to establish some good 
standards of responsibility in management and it's held up so far 
very well. There has never been any disagreement. It had good 
people on the board and they know the score. Unfortunately, most 
hospital boards don't know what's going on. They are there to 
look good and to look pretty and raise money. 



Bay Area Welfare Planning 
Federation, Orinda, 1962. 
Robert J. Koshland, far right, 
with Wayne McMillan, Executive 
Director, second from left, and 
other (unidentified) board 
members . 




Some members of Peninsula 
Hospital District Board, 1969. 
Left to right: George Davis, 
First Secretary (retired 1951); 
Robert J. Koshland, President; 
Morris A. Cox, President after 
Koshland ; Joshua Maule , Jr . , 
Treasurer (deceased) . 




Opening of the Community 
Mental Health Center, March 6, 
1969. Robert J. Koshland. 




148 



Peninsula Hospital's Program 



Dorfman: As opposed to this one? 

Koshland: They don't have to worry about their money. Number one, they run 
in the black. They don't run into debt. According to the law 
they can tax the people, and they have taxed the people for 
capital improvements, but not for operations. That doesn't mean 
necessarily that it is a good operation. You have to understand 
that in a hospital like that, a full paying hospital does not do 
charitable work, but it has a limited teaching program. If you 
don't do any research and it's really taking care of people, you 
can run a hospital in the black. You read of these deficits in 
hospitals right and left, but if you subtract from the total cost 
of running the hospital, the cost of research and teaching, you 
get down to what can be done if you don't do those things. But I'm 
not advocating doing away with them. That's why you have to have 
the Community Chest, et cetera, and have drives for hospitals, 
because they are doing research and teaching. At the Peninsula 
Hospital they do a good deal of teaching but not in the main 
disciplines. They have an open heart surgery program which is 
very successful. It is professionally staffed by the University of 
California. 

That's the thing in hospitals, but getting active in 1958 I 
think it was, a lot of us, presidents of hospitals around the Bay 
Area, got together to form an informal organization to see if we 
could do something about planning and stop the over-building 
of hospitals. We floundered along for several years until the 
Hill-Burton Act, a bill in Congress, was passed. Then we were 
able to get some federal funds and form a new organization and 
get a professional staff which functioned very well. 

But then we couldn't do as well as we should have been able 
to do because we had no teeth. We couldn't enforce our recommenda 
tions to build or not to build. We could only recommend to do 
this or that. We had no teeth to enforce it. So that was our 
weakness in the Bay Area Health Facilities Planning Association. 
That changed a few years later nationally to Comprehensive Health 
Planning and that changed two years ago to the Health Systems 
Agency. But it's all the same thing, but now it's a good going 
concern. You read [about] it in the paper every once in a while. 
You've read about civic medical centers and about children's 
hospitals and various others where the influence of the Health 
Systems Agency had come into being, but not to the extent it 
should. But that's where it started back in 1958 informally and 
we got no place. 



149 



Koshland: You need professionals. The man who was head of that was none 

other than Martin Paley. He was our executive. He is one of my 
best friends to this day; a very splendid, brilliant person. He 
has done very well. He presently is executive director of the 
San Francisco Foundation. 

Dorfman: Can you tell me who else sat on the Peninsula Hospital board? You 
said that there were five men. Now, you were one. Who were the 
others? 



The Hospital Board 



Koshland: I can name the original five. There was George Davis about whom 
I spoke to you on the Unemployment Relief Program. He was among 
the five members. There was Joshua Maule who had two pharmacies 
in San Bruno. You had to think of geographic representation as 
well as the person's own qualities. 

There was Mike O'Connor who was head of the plasterers' 
union and a great guy, an outstanding man. They all I'm the only 
one left of the original five. But he worked his head off for the 
benefit of this hospital and I know that it was very embarrassing 
to him on occasion because a lot of the work was not union work 
in the running of the hospital. It was not unionized. I'm not 
talking about the building. The building was done with regular 
bidding according to state law. But the operation of the hospital, 
it's not unionized and it was very difficult for him, I am certain. 
He put time in and time and again and I'm sure it was very difficult 
for him. 

Then there was George Davis, Josh Maule Good lord! Well, 
look at the picture up here. [points to photograph on wall] 

Dorfman: We can put that other name in a little later. 

Koshland: Do you want to pull that off the wall there? It would be simple, 
I guess. 

Dorfman: Oh, yes. [gets picture] 

Koshland: [looks at picture] Dr. Carl Hoag. Here is George Davis, here is 

Josh Maule, Dr. Carl Hoag, and Mike O'Connor. There is Howard Imus , 
who is still on the board, who is not one of the originals. When 
George Davis got off, we gave a plaque to him. When he moved to 
Belmont, he had to get off because of moving out of the district. 
They had to live in the district, so then Howard Imus, who was head 



150 



Koshland: of the Bekins Van & Storage in San Mateo, took his place. So 

that's the original five in this one. Here is doctor, Dr. Carl 
Hoag, who was devoted and [did] a dedicated and magnificent job, 
a surgeon. Without my going into further detail, I would say I 
treasure that [picture], 

Dorfman: I'm sure you do. What was the greatest issue among the five? 

You said that they were a very cooperative group and worked very 
well together. 

Koshland: I don't remember any great issues of any kind the normal problems 
of running a hospital, but it was very simple, as I said. As I 
said, there is no research done there and there is a limited 
teaching program. There is a teaching program in pathology and 
mental health and so on, but not in the major disciples of surgery 
and medicine. 

Dorfman: How have the problems of a hospital changed since that board first 
met? 



Changing Community Needs 



Koshland: The difficulty in getting a hospital to adjust its program to 

community needs; that I would say is an ongoing problem because 
of parochial attitudes. It's perfectly ridiculous here in San 
Francisco. You've got twenty-seven or twenty-eight acute general 
hospitals in the city and county of San Francisco. You have no 
industry here. You don't have young people. It's largely older 
people and yet each of these hospitals runs an obstetrical 
department. It's ridiculous. It's wasted time and furthermore, 
in our hospital planning program, we had doctors and a special 
committee of obstetricians, they recommended doing away with so 
many of these obstetrical units that were not needed because they 
said unless you have X-number of births I think it was a twelve 
hundred birth minimum you can't run an efficient department. 



151 



XI ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTIONS AND CONVICTIONS 



Mt. Zion Hospital Study by Stanford Research Institute 



Koshland: And pediatrics [is] the same way. The same thing can be said about 
Mt. Zion Hospital. The federation and Mt. Zion Hospital joined 
in a study to be made by the SRI, the Stanford Research Institute 
this was 1965 as to what Mt. Zion should do in the future and 
the committee was made up of hospital representatives and 
Federation representatives. 

It all cost us $25,000. This was a splendid report. It 
went very much in depth into needs and what the representation 
was, how many doctors, where the patients come from, and to this 
day only 21 to 25 percent of the inpatients are Jewish, only 25 
percent of the outpatients are Jewish. It is something the Jews 
are giving the general community which is fine, but it was kept 
from general knowledge. I made it a point, when we had a capital 
funds drive four or five years ago. I stated very plainly, "We 
are doing this for the community. Only 25 percent of the people 
who come there are Jewish." They go to hospitals all over, where 
it's most convenient for them and their doctors. 

Dorfman: So the vast service to the community at large was not publicized 
by Mt. Zion. 

Koshland: That's right, it never did. 
Dorfman: Has that been rectified? 

Koshland: I would say no. They don't talk about it. It's only outsiders 
like yours truly who will talk about it. I don't object to it. 
It's good for the general community. It's an outstanding hospital, 
one of the three or four best hospitals in the city. But when 
it comes to the federation drive, all the expense from Mt. Zion 
as well as the others, with their deficits, have to be met. 



152 



Dorfman: So that perhaps is the reason for the lack of publicity. 

Koshland: Sure, they've got very real problems there because they are not 
getting the money from the general community. They are getting 
it from the Jewish community, and I don't object to it. 

Dorfman: What sparked and developed your enormous interest and dedication 
to social planning? 

Koshland: I guess my exposure to very good professional people like Hyman 

Kaplan and Maurice Hexter and Lou Weintraub later on, Treguboff* 
all these people have been good friends because of our interests 
in common. I would say it was that kind of association that 
has stimulated my interest from time to time, kept it up. 

Dorfman: You have developed much expertise. 

Koshland: I wouldn't say that, but at least through a good deal of diversified 
involvement, I trust I have learned something and haven't been 
completely useless. 

Dorfman: The reports are that you have great expertise in the area of 
hospital planning and administration. 

Koshland: Well, I've had good experience there. You've got to know some 
things about it. In other words, I'm not a rubber-stamp for my 
executive. 



Peninsula Hospital and Current Concerns//// 



Dorfman: What would you say is the current major concern of the Peninsula 
Hospital District with the changes brought about in hospital 
administration? 

Koshland: One thing, according to state law the district hospital cannot 
contract for the care of indigents at less than cost. I was 
speaking to Howard Imus on the phone the other night and he told 
me about various things they are doing there, new programs. Some 
are teaching, some are treatment therapeutic programs. So they 
are spreading out their activity because they aon't have as high 
an occupancy as they should have to keep the thing going properly. 
So they have quite a mental health program and they have some of 
these other programs I know nothing about. 

Dorfman: The scope has been broadened then? 
Koshland: Yes. 



*Sanford Treguboff 



153 



Dorfman: Are they at all concerned with the health maintenance organization? 

Koshland: HMO's? Yes, they are. They had decided with Mills Hospital in a 
joint venture. How well it's going, I don't know at long last. 
It took a long time to bring Mills Hospital into the picture. 
Mills Hospital was run by a small coterie of people. It's always 
been a splendid hospital. It is to this day a top hospital. But 
it is run by a small group and in an investigation by the Health 
Systems Agency a couple of years ago, it was recommended that they 
broaden their control. Now they have added maybe fifteen people 
to their board of directors. Now they have got a committee 
system, and now the board of directors of Mills Hospital is 
becoming knowledgeable where they were completely ignorant 
beforehand. Carl Hoag, the man I mentioned on our board, he was 
formerly chief of staff at Mills Hospital. He was told by the 
president of that hospital or one of the board members, "We will 
ask you questions, answer these questions, but otherwise we don't 
expect you to speak." That was the chief of the medical staff! 
[chuckles] 

Dorfman: What was his reaction? 

Koshland: He told me the story himself. We didn't run Peninsula that way. 

Dorfman: From 1952 to 1958 you were a member of the board of directors of 
the Community Chest of San Mateo County. 

Koshland: That was nothing, an ordinary Community Chest experience. It 
didn't amount to much. 

Dorfman: Who was on that board? 

Koshland: I don't remember any individuals. 



Jewish Home for the Aged, 1956-1963 



Dorfman: You were also very active from 1956 to approximately 1963 as a 

member of the board of directors for the Jewish Home for the Aged. 
What can you tell me about your activities on that board? 

Koshland: Again, there was a case of some difficulties between the federation 
and the Hebrew Home, now the Jewish Home for the Aged. While I 
was on the board they changed the name. I finally agreed to Jewish 
Home for the Aged. I wanted a fanciful name like Homewood Terrace, 
but they wouldn't go for that because they figured they would get 
more money with a Jewish name. Originally, it was the Home for 
Disabled Jews. 






154 



Dorfman: Was it really? 

Koshland: Yes, you go out and look at it and at the front of the main 

entrance you will see an inscription there in stone Home for 
Elderly, Sick, and Disabled Jews or something like that, some 
combination of those words. There again, you have got an 
organization originally, people left bequests to child care. 
That emphasis switched to elderly people. The board was, I would 
say, a very parochial board dedicated, as you have it today, they 
can raise money more easily than any other organization in the 
city. They have a splendid organization. An outstanding man is 
the head, Sidney Friedman, one of the finest social workers I 
have ever met in my life. He is a very sick man today. He is 
at home, very sick. He was done a tremendous job out there. 

Dorfman: But you said that they can raise money more easily than any 
organization in the city? 

Koshland: Yes, I made that statement and I'll stand on it. 
Dorfman: Why is that? 

Koshland: They developed a dedicated group that becomes very parochial in 

its attitude possessive. They have all the necessary committees, 
they have different ways of raising money all the time which I 
object to, but they do it well. They do a magnificent job. 
That's one of our great weaknesses in the country as a whole. It's 
a nursing facility primarily, a skilled nursing service. Nursing 
homes throughout the country, as well as in California, have very 
low standards of operation, very low standards. They are a disgrace 
to the community. There are only a very small percentage of nursing 
homes that are good, but they cost a fortune. 



The Problem of Standards and Finances 



Dorfman: Why are their standards so low today. 

Koshland: Partly due to the fact that they take senior citizens in who are 
qualified for old age services, federal government and state. 
The moderate renumer-.tion given by the state for the care of 
eligible individuals is way below the cost way below cost. So 
therefore, these nursing homes won't take them in unless they have 
to for public relations. I don't know what their costs are today, 
but let me assume that's forty dollars a day. I think the state 
reimbursement figure is around $27. It may be higher now. I'm 
not current on that. But there is a wide discrepency. So therefore, 



155 



Koshland: these people who run nursing homes don't take the Medicaid people 
here called Medical if they can avoid it. It's very unfortunate. 
But there is that to be said on their side. 

Bear in mind, if we talk about hospitals, they are all non 
profit organizations. If we talk about nursing homes, they are 
all run for profit. Now, there is nothing wrong, in my opinion, 
about running a nursing home for profit. It's a perfectly proper 
thing to do, but they can't run a good nursing home for profit 
without getting proper reimbursement from the state. The standard 
of service is just disgraceful. 

Dorfman: Is this reimbursement true of the Jewish Home for the Aged as well? 

Koshland: Sure it is, but the Jewish people have a conscience and they make 
up the difference. 

Dorfman: Do you recall any of the people with whom you served for those 
seven years? 

Koshland: Sure, when I first went on the board Stuart Greenberg was president, 
but he ran the show as a one-man show. 



Dorfman: How was that? 

Koshland: He had a board of directors that was a bunch of rubber stamps. 
Then after that, I guess Lou Browns tein came in and did a 
splendid job L-o-u-i-s. He was president for several years and 
did a splendid job. 

Dorfman: How many members were on that board, do you recall? 

Koshland: I would say about fifteen, maybe twenty or thereabouts. It's 
a well run, beautifully run organization. 

Dorfman: With whom did you serve on that board? 

Koshland: Lou Browns tein was president t\e whole time I was there except for 
the first year when Stuart Greenberg was president. Harold Dobbs 
became president a year before he ran to be mayor. He got himself 
involved in Jewish affairs maybe because he had this in mind to 
run for mayor. He had not been active in Jewish affairs. He was 
president while I was on the board. I am trying to think who else 
followed. It probably was Howard Friedman. 

Dorfman: What were the major issues during that period of time that you 
served? 

Koshland: The difficulty was that the general population was not expanding 
in San Francisco, but the elderly population was expanding. The 
average age of the people in the Jewish Home for the Aged now is 



156 



Koshland: in eighties where let's say fifteen years ago it was probably 
in the lower seventies, the average. Now, unless they have 
changed their policy since I was on and I don't know, I may be 
incorrect in what I am saying now, they did not knowingly take 
any person who was senile. Most people do become senile. No 
one ever leaves except in a box, eventually. 

Dorfman: What do you think contributes to that senility? 

Koshland: Ask a doctor! I can't answer that. I'm getting too close to it 
myself. [laughs] 

Dorfman: [laughs] Aren't we all! Was there ever any discussion about 
this particular issue, the fact that people who are not senile 
become senile once they enter such a facility? 

Koshland: It is not because they enter the facility. It is a natural 
deterioration that takes place in the body yours, mine, and 
everyone else's after a certain age. [tape interruption] 



Establishing a Committee System 



Dorfman: Last week you talked about your activities on the Home for the 

Jewish Aged. I wondered whether you have anything you wanted to 
add to that. 

Koshland: From having certain obsessions and fixations, you will see in 

the minutes of the meetings of the Jewish Home for the Aged that 
I had the idea even in those days of a committee system. The 
president of the Jewish Home for the Aged, when I was on the 
board, was a man who figured, "The board members are okay. I'll 
run the show." And he ran it that way. He had no committee 
system of any kind. In one year his term was out fortunately for 
the community. 

Dorfman: Who was that? 

Koshland: Stuart Greenberg. He was a one-man board of directors. The 

person who took his place was Louis Browns tein, who went along 
with my thoughts and established a committee system which I 
think prevails today. I hope it does. 

Dorfman: It's a valuable contribution to that board and to the home. 

Koshland: Well, it was perfectly ridiculous what was going on there. There 
was one member of the board who was a contractor and they turned 
over to him all maintenance operations, repair operations. He 



157 



Koshland: was a very fine man, and yet he was not as well qualified as some 
of the larger contractors, so the cost of repairing maintenance 
sometimes appeared to be rather large for what was being asked. 

II 

Koshland: A perfect illustration of what should be considered thoroughly 
on a board of directors is a board of directors getting any 
pecuniary results having such interest in membership on the board. 
Mt. Zion had a drive back in 1931. After that drive where they 
went to the people for money, any number of people who were in 
business said they ought to get the business from Mt. Zion 
Hospital, whatever business they were in. So it was a selfish 
attitude. So no member of the board of directors should be guilty 
of even doing business with the hospital. He should stay in the 
clear. I remember Lou Browns tein was very active on the board of 
directors of the Concordia Club . He had been indoctrinated and 
believed in the committee system. 

Anyway, when they wanted some painting done, there were two 
or three painting contractors who were members of the board of 
the Concordia Club, and Lou Browns tein learned his lesson by 
going out for bids, sealed bids. I remember one of the painters, 
who was a well-known person in the community, was madder than the 
devil. He said he had been in the club for years and years and 
he ought to get the business. But when it came to bids, he was 
the highest bidder. 

Dorfman: Who was that? 
Koshland: I won't mention names. 

Dorfman: All right, so you felt there were strong conflicts of interest 
at times on these boards? 

Koshland: Definitely. A man should be completely clear of all suspicion like 
Portia. 



A Strong Conviction on Boards of Directors of Social Agencies 
and Hospitals 



Dorfman: You were going to tell me about a strong conviction that you have 
with regard to boards of directors. 

Koshland: With any agency, particularly when it comes to hospitals. 



158 



XII PRESBYTERIAN HOSPITAL, 1963 



Koshland: The difference between the hospital and a normal welfare agency 
is that the normal welfare agency has a board of directors and 
you have a professional and nonprof essional staff, the executive 
director with whatever assistants are needed. In the hospital 
you have not only the board of directors and the administration 
of the hospital, but you also have a group that is neither 
employer nor employee: the medical staff. You give them all the 
privileges if they qualify to bring patients to the hospital. The 
nurses act under the direction of the doctors but are employed by 
the hospital. It's a contradictory sort of arrangement. 

That's the reason I say a hospital administrator has to be a 
superman to do a good job. It's a third party which is' necessary 
but it makes it more difficult, and I maintain that most boards of 
directors don't know what's going on in the hospital. 

All the doctors have friends among the board of directors and 
vice versa. So they can bypass the administrator which you don't 
do in a normal welfare agency. It's in the nature of things that 
Dr. X knows someone on the board and will tell that person on the 
board what is needed and so on. It's done generally and it makes 
it more difficult for the administrator. After all, a hospital 
has to have certain philosophies of care that you have in any 
welfare agency, and it's up to the committee system in the hospital 
to bring out these things because every board member can't know 
everything. But with the proper committee system, you have proper 
knowledge within the board of directors. 



The Development of a Committee System 



Koshland: I was scared to death that these district hospitals would get into 
politics, that they would be politically run. I have no evidence 
of that. They have had some trouble, internal troubles, in three 



159 



Koshland: or four in the state with which I was familiar at that time where 
the medical staffs were trying to run the hospitals. There were 
factions between members of the medical staffs. That was true in 
two or three cases that I knew about. 

Dorfman: Between the medical staffs and 
Koshland: Within the medical staffs groups. 
Dorfman: Different factions? 

Koshland: Factions within the medical staff. I was brought in to try to 
resolve them once or twice in other hospitals. In any event, 
those things have happened, but by and large I don't think there 
has been any great problem. I think the district hospitals have 
justified their presence. They have brought hospitals to areas 
that never had them before. Now there is a tendency we'll get 
to that in the big cities not to do proper planning. But that's 
another subject. 

I maintain that most boards of directors are merely rubber 
stamp boards; not what I think is desirable. Some boards of 
directors have been built up over many years. They're all private 
bodies for the most part; including rich people who could put 
money into the hospital. Some of the time they are good people 
who are also rich, but they concentrated on money money, money 
was constantly needed in the hospital field like in other fields. 

We had in this group at Peninsula Hospital a very dedicated 
group, just a five-man board by law. I know from my experience 
we knew nothing when we started. Now, I think that we did all 
right and today I think it has the respect of the community. 

Nine months after I left the Peninsula Hospital board, I was 
invited to go on the Presbyterian Hospital board. I was on that 
for several years. I sat quietly there with this group for a year 
and a half after my experience with Peninsula Hospital for fifteen 
years, finally I blew up at a board meeting. I said, "This board 
is not functioning as a board should function." "Why?" I told 
them why I thought the board should be more knowledgeable, it 
should break up into a committee system. You have your program 
committee, you have your building committee, you have ten different 
committees you really should have in a big hospital. 

The Presbyterian was a perfect case of a hospital that had 
a lay board that was completely a rubber stamp board. The decisions 
were really made by an executive committee of four officers with 
the administrator sitting in with them. The board activity was 
merely meeting once a month and voting aye or nay as 
recommended by the executive committee. Because of my experience 
here I have very real convictions about board responsibility. 



160 



Koshland: Finally, one day at a regular meeting Fred Merrill was president. 
He just died recently. It was a case of a man who didn't attend 
half of the meetings. He was too busy as president of Fireman's 
Fund. I said, "This board isn't fuctioning the way it should. 
We should have a committee system. We should know what we're 
doing, without interfering with the hospital management, but we 
should know what goes on through a committee system. One or two 
people spoke in agreement with me. I don't think anybody disagreed 
with me, at which Fred Merrill turned to me and said, "Koshland, 
select your own committee to draw up new bylaws." That passed, so 
I selected two other men with entirely different life experiences. 
One was David McDaniel who was attorney here for the United States 
Steel Corporation, a fine person, and more recently president of 
the Commonwealth Club. The other was Don Fazackerly who has been 
very active in Catholic affairs and had a lot of community 
experience. We had one or two meetings within a period of about 
ten days, I think, and drew up our bylaws which was accepted by the 
group. 

Now what has happened since then with those bylaws I don't 
know if they exist. But I remember one lady member of the board, 
a very capable, fine person but socially ambitious and 
inexperienced in these matters. She said, "We ought to get a 
new administrator, someone who can tell us what we should know." 
I don't want to depend entirely upon the executive but to learn 
from him! 

I want to work with him, but I don't want to be subject to 
his direction. I should know enough myself that I can talk 
knowledgeably with him. That's why I think I have done fairly 
well in getting along with the professionals in all of the 
organizations I've been with. I consider them my best friends 
to this day because I worked with them. I never talked to them; 
I talked with them. 

As I have said to many administrators the major administrators 
in the Bay Area and the whole state through my association 
activities, I said, "You look upon a board as a necessary nuisance," 
and they all agreed with me. All hospital administrators if you 
get them aside agree. 

I'll admit I was just speaking to our administrator at 
Peninsula Hospital the other night when he came to see me [while 
hospitalized at Peninsula Hospital]. I said, "I still maintain 
that a board must be knowledgeable. That means much more work for 
the administrator to prepare for board committee meetings and all 
that, but it pays off in the long run. 



161 



Dorfman: Who chose the executive director of the Presbyterian Hospital? 
Was he selected by the board? 

Koshland: Oh, yes. Anderson was the administrator when I was there. They 
fired him. They weren't satisfied with him. They felt Ed Dean, 
who had been Anderson's assistant, a young fellow he was a good 
man but I don't think he had quite enough experience. So they 
got another man from Los Angeles and they made him president 
instead of administrator. Dr. Spivey is there today. I don't 
know him. 

Dorfman: So he became president as opposed to executive director? 
Koshland: Yes. 

Dorfman: What criteria did the board use in the selection of this 
administrator? 

Koshland: I couldn't tell you. I wrote an article for a national magazine, 
a hospital magazine, on the selection of an administrator. I've 
got it here. It is some hospital magazine. It's a private 
organization, I guess, but it's the mouthpiece of the American 
Hospital Association. They asked me to write a letter [on] how 
to select an administrator. 

Dorfman: I would like to read a copy of that article. 



Dorfman: It sounds as if the bylaws that you helped to develop at 
Presbyterian turned things around. 

Koshland: To show you what a lack of a proper organization existed, I was 
asked to go on that board nine months after I retired from 
Peninsula, as I told you earlier. I had been here long enough. 
They asked me to go on their board and they wanted to build a 
new hospital. They had taken over from Stanford, and they wanted 
to build a new hospital. They knew I had [something] to do with 
building this one [Peninsula Hospital], so I was made chairman 
of the building committee. 

At the very first meeting of the building committee, the 
administrator of the hospital came in. The radiological department 
wanted $60,000 for a new X-ray. I said, "This is not the problem 
of the building committee. It should be the problem of the 
program committee or some such committee." They answered, "There 
is no other committee, so I am leaving it to you." 



162 



Koshland: That's how poorly organized they were. Why should a building 
committee have to do with radiology, buying a new piece of 
equipment? 

Here every year we had a regular budget at Peninsula 
Hopsital which I assume continues today in better fashion. We 
had a budget every year. There was included money for capital 
expenses, building equipment of one kind or another, and we had 
a special committee to give priorities. There was one man, the 
chief of radiology at Presbyterian, when he wants something, they 
say, "How about all of the other departments? Don't they want 
something, too?" 

But some qualified committee should have [something] to do 
with the budget which sets up a program [for] the orderly purchasing 
of equipment. 

[Interview 6: February 27, 1981 ]## 

Dorfman: This morning I would like to return to some of the material that 
you covered last week. The bill about which you spoke, the Hill- 
Burton Act. What was the purpose of that bill? 

Koshland: To bring hospital facilities to rural areas. Then, I guess about 
roughly two years after it started out, they expanded 'this to make 
it possible to develop hospital facilities where they were needed 
in urban areas as well. That was the stimulus given to people 
throughout the country, and California in particular took advantage 
of it, to develop these hospital districts. But because the 
medical fraternity was so afraid that this was the way to socialized 
medicine, it was provided in California hospital district law 
that district hospitals would not contract for the care of 
indigents at less than cost. They were afraid they were going to 
undermine the whole medical profession with competition at lower 
rates. 

Dorfman: That was the purpose of the bill and the reason for the birth 
of the hospital district. 

Koshland: After all, the medical profession, the doctors, are the people 

who bring in your business. You don't have much choice. You go 
with the doctors on the staff, where the doctor wants you to go, 
by and large. 

Dorfman: I also would like to know more about what happened when Anderson 

was fired as the executive director. You said that it was because 
his performance was not satisfactory. What did you mean by that? 



163 



Koshland: It was nothing specific. In general, the board members were 

dissatisfied that he didn't measure up to what they hoped he would 
be able to furnish them in the way of service. There was nothing 
specifically wrong, I would say, offhand. I don't recall. It 
doesn't come to mind all of the details, but they were not 
satisfied. 

Dorfman: You said that Dunn, who was Anderson's assistant, became the 
acting administrator. 

Koshland: I guess Dr. Spivey came next. I'm not certain. 

Dorfman: Now, Dr. Spivey you told me also was hired as president rather 
than as an executive director. Why was that? 



Hospital Administrators as Professionals 



Koshland: I guess he came from the Los Angeles area. He had been in Los 
Angeles ever since the days of Dr. McEckearn in Chicago at 
Northwestern University, who had the inspiration to consider 
hospital administration as a profession. He started a school 
to train hospital administrators at Northwestern University. So 
for years the hospital administrators were fighting for recognition 
as professionals . When it came to selecting a successor from 
time to time, the professionals themselves at convention after 
convention I went to the California Hospital Association annual 
meeting and also the State District Hospital Association you could 
see the professionals in there who were developing a knowledge 
and a real professional attitude and were fighting for greater 
recognition. 



Board of Directors; A Necessary Nuisance and Threat 



Koshland: I was always in favor of it, but at the same time, they had the 
idea, which I have had them admit to me individually, that they 
found the board of directors as a necessary nuisance, and I resent 
that very much. That's why you see from what I've written there 
[gestures towards "Guide for Planning a District Hospital"] and 
on many other occasions when I've been called up to speak, I've 
insisted upon the board of directors being more knowledgeable than 
they are permitted to be theoretically by their administrators. 
It takes a lot of time of the administrators to do what the board 



164 



Koshland: of directors want to do. If you have a proper committee system 

and a board, which I feel is absolutely necessary, a knowledgeable 
board takes up a great deal of the administrator's time. 

I may have told you this. I had a meeting, one of our 
semi-annual meetings of the boards of directors of the State 
District Hospital Association. Someone made a remark, because 
we always had the administrators with us at our meetings to give 
substance to the content of our programs, we always had the 
administrators with us. But someone got up at a meeting and 
I think it was perhaps in San Diego. It was in the southland 
anyway. Someone spoke about not enough people attending these 
meetings. This administrator from a very small rural hospital 
got up and said, "Why should I bring my bosses here? I tell them 
what I want them to know." There was a loud silence from all of 
the administrators present. They were very unhappy about it. 

Dorfman: Yes, that was most revealing. 

Koshland: Therefore, they were fighting for recognition. They considered 
themselves, they liken themselves to a university president who 
sits on the board of regents of the university and by and large 
he is a voting member, and the administrators are fighting for 
recognition of that kind. I remember more than one fight with 
them in the confines of our annual meetings of the Association 
of Hospital Districts group which is run entirely by board members 
without the administrators being permitted to be on the board. I 
had something to do with that because they were fighting for 
recognition there and I said, "I know what will happen. I look 
forward to the time when we will want the administrators on the 
board of our association. But first, until we get settled and 
stabilized, you won't bring your board members with you. You'll 
make it an administrator's meeting." 

I remember the regional head of the American Hospital 
Association, a lovely, fine young man named Avery Millard, who 
was the regional representative of the American Hospital 
Association. I used to speak to him constantly on the telephone 
and I would say, "How is the California Hospital Administrators 
Association getting along?" He'd blow up. We became the best 
of friends, but I called it the administrator's association. 
I fought them successfully on the floor several times, but I 
looked forward to the time when administrators and board members 
would jointly work on a program and all that, but from an 
organizational viewpoint we kept the administrators out. The 
board members never would have shown up otherwise because they, 
in their ignorance in those days, would tend to say with the 
administrator, "You do it, you take care of it." 



165 



Koshland: I get very excited about it because to be on a hospital board of 
directors traditionally has been an honorable occupation for many 
people. But I used to say that when I lectured over at the 
university to men who were studying for their master's degree 
the first question they would ask, they would look upon board 
members as penny-pinching tycoons I objected to that because I 
have never yet seen a board of directors at a hospital that 
wasn't sold on the idea that this must be a bigger and a better 
hospital. Tremendous loyalty developed in a parochial manner at 
their own hospital. It would take a lot of doing to get hospital 
administrators in particular and medical staff more particularly 
to agree to programming the hospital based on community needs. 

You take all these major hospitals here and throughout the 
country. They have a board of directors that is very parochial. 
They have been brought up with all of the devices you can think 
of to build up loyalty on the part of the general public to 
individual hospitals. You realize, in the average private health 
and welfare agency, you've got an administrator who has to respond 
to the policy of a board of directors. He has a board of directors 
that he has to get along with and he has his whole staff, 
professional and nonprofessional staff. 

Now, in the hospital you've got another third party who is 
neither fish nor fowl. They are the only people who will bring 
patients to you and that's the medical staff. The medical staff 
has a way of bypassing the administrators. "Every member of the 
medical staff everyone knows doctors and something comes about 
whether St. Luke's or Mt. Zion or Presbyterian. The doctor 
will speak to the board members and say, "We need this, we need 
that." It makes it doubly hard for an administrator to handle 
himself. I think it takes a superman to be a good hospital 
administrator because he has to get along with the medical staff 
who are the only salesmen the hospital has. 

But because of all these things and because of my particular 
experience, I feel strongly that a board of directors has to be 
more than simply a small group that says "aye" aud "nay" without 
having sufficient knowledge. I think I told you the last time 
how I blew up in the Presbyterian Hospital meeting once with the 
president, Fred Merrill, who just died two or three weeks ago. A 
very fine man, but he was too busy with his business. He didn't 
have sense enough 

Yes, a fine man, but he didn't have sense enough to realize 
that he should step down and get someone in who can really lead 
as a president. He floundered around a great deal and then he 
left it entirely to the officers (a group of four people) the 
president, the vice-president, the secretary-treasurer, and another 



166 



Koshland: officer perhaps. He called four officers as the executive 

committee. So when it came to the meetings of the board, all 
they had to do was vote aye or nay to subscribe to what was 
recommended by the executive committee. 

When I've had to do the bylaws, I have never permitted the 
executive committee to make policy. They can do things that are 
necessary administratively between board meetings, but they may 
not make or change policy. That's up to the board and if you 
have a proper committee system on the board, you have a building 
committee, you've got a program committee, a finance committee, 
the development committee any number of committees. If the 
board is broken up into committees and every member of the board 
serves on at least one committee, then you've got some knowledge 
when it comes to considering policy matters. 

I never would permit interference with the administrator. 
You've got policies and he knows your policy and he has to run 
the show without interference. That calls for a knowledgeable 
board, which cannot be knowledgeable if you don't have a committee 
system and you simply rely upon a small executive committee. 

Dorfman: Is there one committee which bears the major responsibility? 



Selection of a Hospital Board of Directors 



Koshland: I wouldn't say that, no. Another standing committee that has the 
responsibility and sets the whole tone for the future is the 
selection of people it recommends for board membership. The 
nominating committee should be a standing committee to recommend 
people to the board of directors and the officers of the board 
that should be knowledgeable, but not bring in a person simply 
because of his ability to give money. That day has passed. 

Dorfman: Was th.it frequently a reason in the past for board members having 
been selected the ability to give money or status within the 
community? 

Koshland: All of these hospitals grew up with having private financing 

and they brought people in not because of if a hospital had a 
teaching program and/or a research program, it also ran a deficit 
in its operations and would gradually find out that where a 
hospital merely takes care of the full-paying patients and has 
no teaching or research program, it can run in the black. It 
doesn't have to go to the public for funds for its normal 
operations, but as soon as you have these other two factors to 
consider, then you have to consider a deficit and meet that 
deficit. 



167 



Dorfman: Was the significance of Dr. Spivey being named as president as 
opposed to executive director that of status? 

Koshland: There are very few situations like that in the country so far as 
I know. But there was a break here of status. He evidently 
demanded it. But I was not on the personnel committee and had 
nothing to do with it. I wasn't on the hospital board at that 
time. 

Dorfman: That was after you left the board then that that took place? 
Koshland: Yes. 

Dorfman: You wrote these two works, one of them "Meeting the Need for 
Hospital Beds," the other one "Guide for Planning a District 
Hospital." I'd like to know what it was that made you see a need 
for writing those two works. 

Koshland: I guess [because of ] my experience with the state association as 
a member of our hospital and what I saw. You had to program this 
and have surveys made to determine whether or not you need another 
hospital or an expansion of a hospital. People are very ignorant 
about these matters. That was one of the- troubles we had, at 
least in my 'own opinion, with the Presbyterian board. I wanted 
a study made. They wanted to rebuild the old Stanford Hospital. 
They needed a new hospital. There was no question about it. I 
wanted them to go to seek the services of Martin Paley, who was 
executive director of the Bay Area Health Facilities Planning 
Association. Let me see if I'm right. Yes, we were active then 
this was in the sixties as the Bay Area Health Facilities 
Planning Association. We covered nine counties and we recommended 
that studies be made whenever there was a need for more hospital 
beds or getting down to programs like pediatrics and obstetrics. 

Many of the reports that we made are right there. [pointing 
to a bookcase] All of the administrators and the lay people we 
got in would always give you lip service and then they would go 
along selfishly on their own ways. It's in the nature of the 
beast. To get a person who could be community minded and not 
parochial in his attitude is not so easy, if a person has been 
indoctrinated for many, many years and has loyalty to a certain 
hospital it can do no wrong. 



168 



A Study to Determine Needs of Presbyterian Hospital 



Koshland: I can cite two cases. When I came to Presbyterian Hospital, it 
was a hospital of 350 beds. I said, "What we need is a study." 
I don't know if it should be 150 or 750. They arbitrarily 
decided 350 beds. I had a lunch to which I brought the vice- 
president of the hospital and the administrator. There was Dr. 
Mark Blumberg, who was then the head of hospital survey activity 
at Stanford, SRI the Stanford Research Institute. I remember 
the lunch I had to bring these people together because I wanted 
to have the Stanford Research Institute make a study of our needs 
in the community, where Presbyterian fits in. 

We discussed the pros and the cons. Number one was what 
will this cost? Well, it would cost $25,000 roughly; twenty or 
twenty-five. 

Dorfman: What year was this would you say? 

Koshland: Probably 1963 thereabouts, '63 or '64. In that period. So that 
was out of line, $25,000. I can understand their difficulty in 
saying yes to that because of the financial condition the hospital 
was in. It didn't have any money to speak of. 

Then also they wanted to say, "We want justification for 
a 350 bed hospital." Mark Blumberg, who is a brilliant young 
man in the public health field said that he would not make a 
study that would be constrained in any respect. So the matter 
was dropped so far as he was concerned. So the young fellow, 
Dunn, got a man, Dick Johnson, from a mid-west surveying 
organization. I forget the name at the moment. I knew Dick 
Johnson because he had come out and surveyed the Peninsula 
Hospital when I was on the board there. He came in with a report 
for $6,000 that wasn't worth the paper it was written on because 
he did what they wanted. He justified a 350 bed hospital; he 
worked backwards. I didn't even want to pay his bill. 

But they were satisfied, the investigating board. They got 
what they wanted. But he had no figures. He never had any 
figures to back it up, statistical data of any kind. It was just 
a manuscript put together to suit a certain purpose. It wasn't 
objective. It wasn't the result of study at all. They got what 
they wanted for $6,000. 

When he came in, I was chairman of the building committee the 
whole time I was on the board, and I think I told you the story 
of why I got off. 



169 



A Resignation as a Matter of Ethics 



Dorfman: No, I don't think you did. 

Koshland: We had almost completed plans for a new hospital. It was almost 
ready to go out for bids. The diagnostic radiologist, Bill 
Anderson, a splendid person. 

Dorfman: What was his name? 

Koshland: William Anderson, chief of radiology. He wanted to dig a hole to 
provide a place for radiation therapy. I asked the architect if 
it was needed, considering the future, looking to the future, and 
it wasn't necessary. It would cost $40,000 to dig a hole. I 
questioned the advisability of spending this $40,000, and I wanted 
this put up to the Health Facilities Planning Association. You 
see, I was carrying water on both shoulders and there's a conflict 
of interest. I wanted to put it up to the Health Facilities 
Planning Association to make a recommendation as to the findings, 
what was appropriate. 

They refused. They wouldn't go along with me. Bob [Robert] 
Burns was then president of the College of the Pacific. He came 
to our meetings. He wasn't present at that meeting though. His 
representative was his vice-president. So when they voted against 
me on this, they wouldn't go to the Health Facilities Planning 
Association for advice on this, I resigned. Then the very next 
day I told Bob Burns 's vice-president, who was his representative 
on the building committee, "Tomorrow I'm sending Bob Burns his [my] 
letter of resignation." He said, "Well, don't do that." I said, 
"Oh yes, I can't carry water on both shoulders and I have to do 
what I think is right." 

Dorfman: That was in conflict with the Bay Area Health Facilities Planning? 

Koshland: They had made no study at all. I simply wanted them to study the 
situation and see if this $40,000 expenditure was wise, looking 
into the future, because it was a future plan; an iffy plan. So 
that ended that episode. 

Dorfman: Was it your strong confidence in the committee system also that 
had something to do with your writing these two publications? 

Koshland: Do you mean the committee system on the board? 
Dorfman: Yes. 



170 



Koshland: As I said before, I think board members must be knowledgeable 
about how the organization functions and there are so many 
different facets to it. There is a building committee. There 
is a finance committee. There are ten different committees I 
laid out for Presbyterian. Every member of the board was going 
to be on two committees and make it a working board. Then the 
board of directors, when something comes before them, it goes 
to the appropriate committee first so it would have full 
consideration. There is a standing committee. They know what 
is going on in that field of interest. So then you have a 
knowledgeable board because your own board representatives on 
these committees have become familiar with all of the programs 
and problems of the different departments. [It is] the same way 
a business is run. There is no reason why a hospital shouldn't 
be run in the same manner. 

Dorfman: Were these publications widely distributed? 

Koshland: No, these were just for the purpose of the district hospital group 
of 65 hospitals roughly. Every one of them got a copy. 

Dorfman: So they were distributed within that hospital district? 

Koshland: Yes. Oh, I'm sure that plenty of other people I know personally 
I sent some to friends like Mark, who died the Mt. Zion Hospital 
executive Mark Berk, and fellows whom I knew. You can be sure 
the California Hospital Association got four copies of this. 

Dorfman: How many were printed initially? 

Koshland: I couldn't tell you. There were roughly 65 districts and the 
Hospital Association had five hundred hospitals in the state. 
Call it a thousand, a wild guess. 



Planning for All Interested Hospitals 



Dorfman: Do you have anything you wanted to add to that particular period? 

Koshland: From the point of view of one of those who was in on the founding 
and planning of the hospital association, I was very much 
interested in overall planning and having hospitals interested 
in planning, coming in on it. The District Hospital Association 
only had to do with district hospitals. But that covered the state 
geographically pretty well. But the California Hospital Association, 
.there were roughly 7,500 general and acute hospitals in the country 
and about 550 in California. 



171 



Koshland: But the hospital association is run of and by the professionals 
in the business. The board of directors is out except my good 
friend, Monsignor Timothy O'Brien. When he became president of 
the California Hospital Association, he put through one thing which 
I had urged him to do two or three years beforehand. 

. Now, they brought two hospital board members in on the board 
of the California Hospital Association, one from the north and one 
from the south of the state and two doctors, one from the north 
of the state and one from the south of the state. But the 
employee telling the bosses what they should do is wrong, but 
it's a step in the door, a foot in the door. 

Timothy O'Brien, who was then Father O'Brien and is now 
Monsignor Timothy O'Brien, put that over and changed the bylaws 
of the California Hospital Association. 

Dorfman: What year was that accomplished? 
Koshland: I don't remember, ten years ago roughly. 
Dorfman: That was a big step then. 

Koshland: It was a step. The first women up here representing the board was 
Mrs. Libby Schilling, who is on the board of Children's Hospital, 
a very efficient person. 



172 



XIII THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY, SCHOOL OF PUBLIC 
HEALTH, GRADUATE PROGRAM, 1955-1962## 



Dorfman: You mentioned that you lectured at the university. 

Koshland: Well, that's gilding the lily a little bit by calling it a lecture. 
I was asked by Keith Taylor,* who was the head of the department 
public health. He is the man in charge of educating those who are 
studying for masters' degrees. Instead of lecturing I opened the 
session. It was a nine to twelve session once a year. It is a 
different group each year. They are all the same from year to 
year. The same questions are asked. I maybe would speak for two 
or three minutes giving a little background about relationships 
and so on. Then I let them fire questions at me, the same questions 
from year to year. They looked upon the board of directors of the 
hospital as necessary, penny pinching tycoons. 

So I broke down the board of directors for their benefit into 
three parts. Like all of Gaul divided into three parts, you know. 
You've got one-third of your board of directors roughly who may be 
there just because of their names and their money-giving ability, 
one-third of the board are people who are properly trained and 
indoctrinated and involved, and another third are the people who 
actually dig in and have developed that loyalty and dedication 
and really work at it. Now, the numbers- -the one-third each 
isn't accurate at all, but it tells symbolically what I thought. 
Some didn't react favorably to my thinking at all. 

Dorfman: What were their reactions? 

Koshland: I think they still were fearful that there would be interference 
from the board of directors. I made it clear when we dedicated 
Peninsula Hospital, there were 1,500 people in the audience, I 
said that I wanted it understood that there would be no inter 
ference with the district hospital, a public hospital. That we 
were going to use tax funds to build a hospital and maintain it. 
I said at the dedication ceremony when we opened the hospital, 



*Dr. Keith Taylor 



173 



Koshland: the board of directors has agreed you will not interfere with 

the operation of the hospital and its employment department: So 
don't come and ask the administrator to take your favorite uncle 
or your cousin or your aunt to be employed by the hospital. If 
any member of the board of directors is caught doing that, it is 
tantamount to a resignation. 

Dorfman: That is certainly a strong statement. 

Koshland: I made it very strong and I repeated that statement about a year 

or so later over in Livermore at the Washington Township Hospital. 
I was then president of the state district hospital association. 
As president of the state association, I spoke about dedication 
and said the same thing. There was an editorial written up in the 
local paper, an Alameda County paper, the next day quoting me 
correctly incidentally and praising the policy. 

Dorfman: What year was that? 

Koshland: We opened the Peninsula Hospital March 1, 1954, and this was 

probably about three or four years later, roughly. I'd probably 
say it was around '57, '58, '59. I was the president in '58-'59. 
I think; these two years. I don't remember. 

Dorfman: But after having given that talk there was confirmation of what 
you said, accurate confirmation, in the newspapers. 

Koshland: Yes. 

Dorfman: Can we return to your talks to the students, please. What year 
did you begin to give these yearly lectures or talks at the 
university? 

Koshland: It must have been after we opened the hospital. I got through in 
1962. It was probably it was for about seven or eight years I 
did this it was probably from the middle and late fifties on. 

Dorfman: About 1955 to '62, terminating in 1962, would you say? 

Koshland: I would say that. 

Dorfman: That was at the university at Berkeley? 

Koshland: At Berkeley, yes. 



174 



XIV CONTINUING SERVICE AND EXPERTISE IN HEALTH, SOCIAL 
WELFARE AND HOSPITAL PLANNING 



Dorfman: In 1957 to 1959 you were president of the Association of California 
Hospital Districts. What can you tell me about that period of 
time and your involvement in that organization? 



Association of California Hospital Districts, 1957-1959, President 



Koshland: I remember in about 1958 some of us got together, hospital board 
members got together. Who stimulated us I don't remember. We 
wanted to do something about the proliferation of hospitals, the 
building of hospitals that are not needed, including departments. 
We struggled for two or three years and really got no place because 
the administrators were not necessarily in favor of it. They did 
give lip service, but no action. 

Finally, the United States government through the Hill-Burton 
Act, got busy. With that money being available we got federal 
money for our organization, we incorporated then and were serious 
about it. Up to that point, we merely had meetings and talked 
[about] things and we got no place. But the federal government 
then gave us luoney because they wanted to encourage this type of 
thinking and this type of action to bring an orderly process in 
the expansion of hospital facilities or the development of new 
hospital facilities. We organized here the Bay Area Health 
Facilities Planning Association. What is the first date on that? 

Dorfman: Sixty- two to '65 is what we have here. 
Koshland: I was president for three years? 

Dorfman: Yes, 1962 to 1965. But prior to that, Bay Area Welfare Planning 
that was a different organization altogether. 



175 



Koshland: Yes. I wasn't president of both of them at the same time? 
Dorfman: There is a slight overlap there of a few years. 

Koshland: There might be. I've never been a candidate. I've never sought 
office. It may sound as if I, because I've lived a long time, I 
was. seeking titles. I assure you I was not. 

Dorfman: I'm sure it was your skill that was what was widely sought. 

Koshland: Well, if I accepted a responsibility and an office, I took it 

seriously. I didn't dilute my interests too much. A little here 
and a little there is not so useful. I concentrated my energies, 
I think, on the things at hand. 

Dorfman: Who served with you on the board of the Association of California 
Hospital Districts. 

Koshland: Who served with me? I'd have to go back to the record. 

Dorfman: Was there anyone with whom you worked very closely on that board. 

Koshland: There was Marian Ibach who was the secretary. She was on the board 
of directors of the Marin General Hospital. [spells her name] 
She was a very dedicated member of that board of Marin General 
Hospital and was secretary of our district hospital association 
when I was president. 

Dorfman: Then from 1956 to 1961 you were on the board of directors of the 
Community Council of San Mateo County. What were your activities 
as a member of that board? 

Koshland: There had been recognition by that time of the fact that the Council 
of Social Agencies philosophy was wrong. In other words, you 
should develop your planning process by being in town and covering 
your area geographically, of course. But simply having a council 
of social agencies was not the desirable way of organizing social 
planning. So the Community Council of San Mateo County than 
became part of UBAC [United Bay Area Crusade] when UBAC was formed 
in 1955 I believe it was or '56. 

We began with the San Mateo part of it. We had five counties 
that were included in UBAC. Starting with the old Community Chests 
and then there was the United Fund and UBAC, I think in that order. 
Now it's United Way. 

Dorfman: Do you remember who served with you on that board of the Community 
Council? 



176 



Koshland: I was looking at some of these names up here. In San Mateo County 
[there are] so many people, I wouldn't start to name any one or two 
and be unfair to the others. 

Dorfman: Were there strong issues within that group? 

Koshland: Sometimes there were issues. To begin with, the first issue was 
in the forming of UBAC. Each county then had its parochial 
attitude provincial attitude and wanted to see that it was taken 
care of in the organization. They were afraid of losing their 
autonomy which is the good old American way. That developed into 
the San Mateo Social Planning Council, I guess was its name, and 
each of the five counties had its own council. 



Bay Area Welfare Planning Federation, 1961-1964 



Koshland: 

Dorfman: 
Koshland: 

Dorfman: 

Koshland: 
Dorfman: 

Koshland: 



But then when I was president of the Bay Area Welfare Planning 
Federation, it was a separate organization from UBAC. It was 
purely a planning association. 

That was from 1961 to 1964. 

Yes, but I wasn't president all of that time. I was on it, but 
as a member. I was only president probably a couple of years, 
whatever it says there. [referring to profile of his life] 

This profile indicates that you were president from 1961 to '64. 
Would you say it was the last two years perhaps? 

Probably. 

Sixty- two to '64. What were the problems there that you were 
alluding to on the Bay Area Welfare Planning Federation. 

Again, you have the conflict of the admins trators , the executive 
directors, of different agencies always fearful about the person 
in the middle, the central organization taking away their autonomy. 
We had as executive director an outstanding person, Wayne McMillen. 
[spells name] Wayne McMillen, he came out of Chicago. He was 
looked upon as one of the most outstanding professional executives 
in the social welfare field in the whole country. He was a grand 
person and we became very, very close friends and we worked 
together very well. But again, the local councils were always 
fearful that someone would take away their autonomy, the lay 
people as well as the professionals. 



177 



Koshland: Unfortunately, when I took office, two or three members of the 
board took me to lunch and said, "Look out. We've just hired 
Wayne McMillen." They figured he was too theoretical and not 
practical enough. They warned me against him. He was outstanding. 

Dorfman: So you soon found he was to be an asset. 

Koshland: Oh, right. So when it comes to the planning process and you have 
different groups thinking geographically as well as otherwise, 
you still have a problem getting general acceptance and implementa 
tion. Report after report after report you will see it there and 
if you ask me what was done about these reports, I'd hate to tell 
you. 

Dorfman: What do you mean? 

Koshland: The recommendations were not carried out. In other words, they 
give you lip service, but when it comes to my hospital or my 
organization or social planning agency, no. 

Dorfman: So that unless specific individual needs were met, those 
recommendations were, by and large, not followed. 

Koshland: I would say by and large there was a tendency of people to let 
things go. The particular thing I can remember very distinctly 
back in 1964, Mt. Zion Council was running up a bigger and a 
better deficit year after year. Mind you, understand me, it's 
an outstanding institution, one of the best in the city. However, 
they had the same ideas as all other hospital people had. 

I was active in the federation at the time. We got Mt. Zion 
to agree to have the Stanford Research Institute make a study of 
Mt. Zion Hospital, a very thorough study which I have here. The 
federation put up $12,500 and Mt. Zion put up $12,500. They had 
a joint committee,, Half of the committee out of their fifteen to 
twenty on the committee (roughly that is the number I think) were 
representative of Mt. Zion and half were representatives of the 
federation. Mark Blumberg made that report, a splendid report. 
It came to implementation at the first meeting we had, and Mark 
Berk was there at that time. He asked, "Are you in favor of 
this?" Before we got into details generally in principle everyone 
said, "Yes." But they didn't do a thing about it. 

One of the things in there was an opportunity to do a great 
service for the people of San Francisco in OB and pediatrics. 
He showed through statistics and so on, there were twenty-seven 
or twenty-eight acute general hospitals in San Francisco and twelve 
of them would have been enough to do a much better job than is done 
by twenty-seven or twenty-eight. Every hospital wants to have a 
full compliment of services and it's not necessary at all. Open 



178 



Koshland: heart surgery is an outstanding example. Radiation therapy is 

another example. Every hospital doesn't have to have all of these 
things. 

When it came to the OB and pediatrics discussion in this 
committee, we referred that part of the study or report to the 
professional staff of Mt. Zion Hospital for their recommendation. 
To this day, it has never been answered. The committee went out 
of existence. The report is full of dust on the shelf of Mt. 
Zion Hospital and the federation and the $25,000 went down the 
drain. Nothing was done. The community has been led to believe 
that Mt. Zion Hospital is taking care of the Jewish needs in San 
Francisco. Well, it doesn't. Only 22 to 25 percent of the 
inpatients are Jewish. Only 25 percent of the outpatients are 
Jewish. I've mentioned this before, but it's a contribution of 
the Jewish community to San Francisco which is good. I don't 
object to it, but I want honesty and they never let their public 
know about it. 



It's come out in the last few years gradually but that report 
was never acted on officially by both parties. The committee 
never made a final report. It was a splendid study in depth of 
the physicians and the clients of the hospital, as well as, the 
activities and programs of the hospital and its operation. Nothing 
was done about it and that's what sickens me. You pay money to 
have a study made and then don't do anything about it. 

Dorfman: What year was that study initiated? 

Koshland: Nineteen-sixty-four. I think the report came out in 1965. Dr. 
Mark Blumberg took months to make the study. It's a very, very 
fine study. As you see, I've been active in health and welfare 
planning and you become somewhat cynical on occasion. But here 
these two organizations agree to have a study made and then not 
do anything about it. [tape interruption: telephone rings] 

Dorfman: Do you have anything more you wanted to add about that study on 
Mt. Zion? 

Koshland: No, I've told the story. Nothing was done about it and it's 

unfortunate. Oh, I can add one thing on the OB and pediatrics. 
Who was the man who was executive director before Kirschner, the 
present man? He had an Armenian name. I was in his office one 
day after the study was made and I spoke of pediatrics and OB 
especially, saying we could do with fewer of them, why didn't 
Mt. Zion take some action? He said, "I agree with you that twelve 
of them would be much better than twenty-seven or twenty-eight, but 
who should give up?" That's the trouble. 



179 



Bay Area Health Facilities Planning Association 

Dorfman: Next you were from 1962 to 1965 president of the Bay Area Health 

Facilities Planning Association which then became the Comprehensive 
Health Planning Association. 

Koshland: We went out of business technically and they came in you might say. 

Dorfman: And later became what is now the Health Systems Agency. 

Koshland: Yes, that's right. 

Dorfman: What about your activities in that organization? 

Koshland: The Bay Area Health Facilities Planning Association? As long as 

we had to go to Washington, we finally managed to get some federal 
funds to get going and Martin Paley became our executive. He is 
now the head, as you know, of the San Francisco Foundation. He 
did a magnificent job. He made lots of reports and I hope they 
were followed to a reasonable degree. 

Dorfman: What do you feel was your major contribution to that particular 
organization while you were president? 

Koshland: I guess the different hospitals and the people in the hospital 

field around the country got to know us. We made reports and then, 
of course, there was a state organization that allocated both 
state and federal funds based upon our recommendations. Our 
reports then carried weight in action, approving and disapproving 
projects because they had to make application through us to the 
state agency and the federal government when they wanted to build 
anything of a major character, as well as of federal funds. 

I think we did a reasonable job there, but when comprehensive 
care came along, they had the ability to put teeth in the 
organization. They could enforce their decisions which we never 
could do . 

Enforcing Decisions 



Dorfman: What made that possible? 

Koshland: Money because in this nine county area that we covered in the Bay 

Area Health Facilities Planning Association, we had representatives 
of all of them on our board of directors, a good group of people, 
a splendid group. So therefore, when we made a recommendation that 



180 



Dorfman: 



Koshland: 



Koshland: a hospital should do this or that or we would justify an expansion 
program or building something brand new, it carried weight because 
we went through the state organization which doled out the money 
and it based its decision on what the local representatives 
recommended . 

. Of course, you had this type of organization all over the 
country, but I'm only familiar somewhat with the California part 
of it. You had the state broken up into regions and we had this 
Bay Area group here. So our recommendations went to the state 
level that made decisions that were based upon our recommendations. 

The major difference then between your organization and the 
comprehensive health planning organization which followed 

They had more teeth. They were able to do more. They weren't 
necessarily better equipped from a personnel viewpoint. So far 
as the personnel that were involved were concerned, I think we 
had a little better understanding class of people. Incidentally, 
one of our very good members was Shirley Temple Black. She was a 
member of our mid-peninsula group. We had different groups in 
different communities together with a comprehensively selected group 
that was the Bay Area Health Facilities Planning Association. She 
was a member of the mid-peninsula one which was the Palo Alto area. 
I remember that. Then she came onto our board of the central Bay 
Area group. She worked hard. 

Dorfman: With whom else did you work as president of the Bay Area Health 
Facilities Planning Association? 

Koshland: Oh, a lot of good people. Of course, Martin Paley was our 

executive. He did a splendid job. Kenneth King, who was vice- 
president of the Fireman's Fund was active in it. My friend 
Tim O'Brien was on it. We had doctors on it. You are trying 
to resurrect names I can't come up with easily. 

Dorfman: Were there conflicts on that board? 

Koshland: No, we had different opinions expressed, but we never had difficulty, 
When it came to priorities, people expressed different opinions 
and priorities. We were limited in the amount of money that was 
available. We worked on priorities, but I don't recall any 
difficulties. After an expression of opinion, you would take a 
vote and that settles it. 

Dorfman: Were there major issues? 



181 



Koshland: Well, it's a major issue when a hospital wants to build a new 
wing or build a whole new hospital. Is it needed or is it not 
needed? Is it wise or is it not wise? So after all, I was on 
the board of Presbyterian [Hospital] at the time. We wanted more 
money. So it was very important to Presbyterian to get money 
for a new hospital and we did get it. 

n 

Dorfman: I think you mentioned a particular sum that you did get for the 
hospital. You said part of it was federal. 

Koshland: We got half federal and half state. That was Presbyterian, but all 
the hospitals in San Francisco all had their hands out to do this 
and that. I think they were satisfied with our reports by and 
large because our reports were based on objective study and 
thinking, of course. Naturally people would go behind our backs 
to try to get influence on the state level. But when it comes to 
final determination, that's normal in a democracy. 



Health Systems Agency, San Mateo, San Francisco and Marin Counties 



Dorfman: .Then we began to talk about the agency today, the Health Systems 
Agency as it is now known. 

Koshland: I don't like the organization that developed after the Comprehensive 
Health Planning Association. It didn't do all it should do, [all] 
they expected of it. Then they formed a new organization called 
the West Bay Health Systems Agency which was San Mateo, San 
Francisco and Marin Counties. The board of supervisors of the 
three of them had the final say as to what we had done and what 
we could not have done. It's only at the local level of the three 
organizations that you have the general public the lay public 
involved. There you have it involved in the wrong way in my 
opinion because the ultimate end of a democracy you could ask 
to be appointed to it, and I got jiore than one letter asking for 
an appointment as a member of the local agency. It was done in 
San Mateo, it was done in San Francisco, and it was done in Marin 
County. So people were not really selected. I may be unfair to 
them when I say this, but as I saw it, I didn't think that at 
th<=> local level they gathered the people who were the potential 
leaders and who could do objective thinking. 

I went to one or two public meetings and it was just like the 
meetings of your board of supervisors. People were jumping on 
each other, there was no calm deliberation. 



182 



Dorfman: How do you feel about the number of people on their boards? 

Koshland: Of the Health Systems Agency? I don't know how many there are. 
I think there are too many for good working relationships, but 
that's a curbstone opinion. But I didn't like the idea that the 
final decisions were even made by the three supervisorial groups. 
The. lay people were not involved in that at all. It was purely 
the officeholders, which I think was wrong. 

Dorfman: Have you had any involvement at all in that agency? 
Koshland: No. 

Dorfman: Let's go on to the next committee and organization in which you 
were active. You were on the executive committee of the United 
Bay Area Crusade from 1962 to 1966. 



Bay Area Social Planning Council 



Koshland: That was because I was president of the social planning council, 
the Bay Area Social Planning Council, as their representative on 
the executive committee of UBAC. 

Dorfman: What major input did you have there? 

Koshland: Not a great deal. You take UBAC. As I remember it, there were 
fifty people on the executive committee. It was a large number. 
They looked down upon social planning. They didn't think much 
of it. Wayne McMillen was doing a magnificent job. In my 
opinion, the social planning council should not be subordinate to 
the fund raising agency. Most of these people were with fund 
raising agencies to start with, such as community chest and had 
not been exposed to where planning on a community-wide basis was 
seriously considered. 

And it grew from that to the United Fund and all of the fund 
raising agencies. They then control both the getting of, 
distribution of, and allocation of funds. They do this without 
having the benefit of objective thinking by any other planning 
agency. The social planning council was the forerunner of the 
Bay Area Welfare Planning Federation and felt that planning should 
be done by independent groups who have their own autonomy. We 
could serve and make studies for the benefit of UBAC and other 
agencies which we did. But the people in charge of UBAC looked 
down upon the social planning and they finally killed it. It went 
out of existence. 



183 



Koshland: Now they cover social planning within the United Way. I don't 

know anything about it. How well it functions, I can't tell you. 
But in theory, I object to it being under the fund raising and 
distributing group. It should be parallel with them at least. 
To make people happy, I would have a central organization made 
up of fund raisers, fund distributors and social planners, all on 
an equal basis. 

Dorfman: Would you limit the numbers on those committees? 

Koshland: I would follow this idea which I developed myself. Have as 

small a number as is consistent with efficient operation. Now, 
that's not realistic in this day and age. 

Dorfman: It's difficult. 

Koshland: Because now you have ethnic approaches to these things and you 
have to I'm on the commission on aging in San Mateo County. 
The federal guidelines, the Federal Register, the Older Americans 
Act forces us in our commission on aging to have representation 
of ethnic groups on the basis of their ratio in the population. 
I think it's working very well in San Mateo. The real leadership 
in the organization comes from a half a dozen people out of 
twenty-one. But the people who had charge of the social planning 
council, the lay group, have been a splendid group; a well-educated, 
learned group. There are meetings, meetings, meetings going on 
constantly. It has splendid leadership. We were purely an 
advisory body. In San Francisco your commission on aging is the 
decision-making body as well and they're in trouble. 

Dorfman: They are in trouble? 

Koshland: Well, from what I've heard from people right and left, including one 
or two people who have been on the former commission the politics 
in the thing and you can't be objective. It's just a poor 
organization. We have a very good one in San Mateo County. 

Dorfman: After your work on the Presbyterian board, you were on the i-oard 
of trustees of the Children's Home Society of California. That 
was in 1965. 

Koshland: It's a funny thing. That is a state organization. I went to two 
or three meetings, and it's so well run, a beautiful organization, 
I got out. I didn't want to be a member of an organization that 
was so good that there was nothing that I could contribute! It's 
a fact. After one year, I got out. It was a well organized group. 
They were doing well financially, they were doing well organiza 
tionally, and they were serving their purpose. So why should I 
take my time helping them. They don't need any help from me. 



184 



Dorfman: After that, from 1966 to 1974, you are listed as a member of the 
executive committee of the Bay Area Social Planning Council. 

Koshland: That was one that came after the Bay Area Welfare Planning 

Federation. This was its successor as a result of a study 
made. An eastern group came out here and made a study at the 
request of UBAC and the Bay Area Welfare Planning Federation was 
included in the study. The recommendation of this committee, one 
of the many recommendations, closed the Bay Area Welfare Planning 
Federation, put it out of business and formed Bay Area Social 
Planning Council to take its place. Then they selected David 
De Marche as the head and he asked Wayne McMillen to be his 
assistant. 

Dorfman: Who was that? 

Koshland: David De Marche was the executive there. He had worked for UBAC 
and its forerunners. It's two words it's De-M-a-r-c-h-e. So 
the Social Planning Council is a different name for the same idea, 
the same purpose, as the Welfare Planning Federation. But UBAC 
killed it because people didn't like McMillen and they wanted to 
have it under their wing. There is a real issue there between 
UBAC and the Social Planning Council, but UBAC had the money and 
killed it. 

Dorfman: And also the strength as a result? 

Koshland: Yes. I'm not familiar with it any more, but I don't think you 

have any comprehensive social planning going on in this Bay Area 
right now,, I don't think so. I'm only expressing an opinion. 
I don't know. I know that there is some social planning going on 
within UBAC or United Way. But they're going to be parochial. 
They're only interested in their agencies, not in all of the 
agencies in the community, including the federal, the state, and 
the county public agencies. The Social Planning Council should 
take in both public and private sectors, the whole community, all 
of the agencies. But naturally, UBAC and now the United Way, the 
social planning council is only going to be interested in its two 
hundred agencies, not in the myraid of agencies that exist. 

Dorfman: Who else did you work with on that committee? 

Koshland: [pause] A lot of very good people. But I would see in these 

organizations where you can select your own people on your board, 
it may not be completely democratic but it's more efficient. 

Dorfman: Because they are people you can work with? 
Koshland: Yes. 



185 



Dorfman: Were there other reasons why it might be more efficient? 

Koshland: You are selecting people because of experience and competence, not 
because they are members of that organization. 



Distribution Committee of San Mateo Foundation 



Dorfman : 

Koshland: 
Dorfman: 



Koshland: 

Dorfman: 

Koshland: 

Dorfman: 

Koshland: 

Dorfman: 

Koshland : 



Your next contribution was made as a member of the Distribution 
Committee of the San Mateo Foundation in 1965 and you are presently 
continuing as a member of that organization. 

Yes, right. 

What about your activities in that organization? What can you tell 
me? [tape interruption] The San Mateo Foundation, there is a 
statement here at the beginning of the annual 1979 report that 
talks about meeting the unresolved needs of the community. 
Certainly, that is a very broad spectrum that the foundation 
covers . 

Well, you try to meet them. There should be a modifying statement. 
We don't meet them; we try to meet them. 

What has been your involvement with the foundation? 
Heavily involved. 
From the beginning? 
From the beginning. 
What date was that? 

In 1964 or '65, Ted Lilienthal and his wife Frances Lilienthal had 
the idea that there should be a San Mateo Foundation. John May 
said, "This area is included in the San Francisco Foundation and 
we shouldn't exist." We had a lot of fun with John May. He was 
very friendly, but he never thought we should exist. There was 
a provincial attitude that a group in San Mateo didn't want to be 
the stepchildren of the people in San Francisco; normal. I think 
we've proved something, that we can get along perfectly well with 
our neighbors. 

So I think the mistake that Ted made was that he was a 
splendid person with a splendid idea, but he was not a good 
organizer. It took us several years before we could afford to 



186 



Koshland: have an executive director, a paid person. We have one there now 
who is a brilliant young man, Bill Somerville. He is doing a 
splendid job. Now we function as an organization should. We 
have money that we can use for administrative purposes. We have 
one lady who gives us $25,000 a year from a trust fund for purely 
administrative costs which is very nice. 

Bill got to know everybody in the county in no time flat. 
We're giving away now about $300,000 a year. We're trying to 
broaden our area of interest now to include northern Santa Clara 
County. A community sponsors group was inviting people in to 
see us. It's very nice, but it's a slow process. We don't care 
about the money from them, but we want them to know about this and 
we want them to leave us money in their wills primarily. Also, 
there is a short term living trust and we have quite a few of 
those. 

I think for those people in the community that know us, they 
have respect for us doing a good job. There are not enough 
people the agencies know us because they all apply. We get 
applications from all over the country, but we only give in the 
San Mateo and the northern Santa Clara area. We are the thirty- 
eighth largest in the country in community foundations which doesn't 
mean much. We belong to the Council of Foundations in Washington 
which is watching legislation all the time. 

We have a splendid group. It is a five-man group (including 
one woman) . Five people on the distribution committee is it. 
You have one person named by the president of Mills College, one 
fay the president of Stanford, one by the trustee banks that's 
three one by the presiding judge of the superior court in San 
Mateo County (I'm that person named by him), and one by UBAC, 
United Way of San Mateo, the head of it. 

Dorfman: Was that group present at the formation of the foundation? 

Koshland: No, the superior judge was not there. That's where Ted made a 
great mistake because he had a person named by the president of 
the Jewish Federation here and I objected to it. After one year 
I got the bylaws changed to eliminate the Jewish Welfare Federation 
representation and then they came up with the presiding judge 
of the superior court. 



187 



Recommendation to Eliminate Jewish Welfare Federation Representation 

Dorfman: Why did you feel that the Jewish Welfare Federation 

Koshland: Well, you didn't have the Catholic Federation in there, the social 
services and so on. This was all wrong in concept. That was 
straightened out by my strong recommendation that we change and 
the bylaws were changed. 

Dorfman: What other hurdles had to be surmounted when the foundation was 
formed? 

Koshland: You had to get known and you had to get money that you could give 
away. Gradually, we got money. We started in with $30,000 or 
$35,000 given by the medical society and we got money left us by 
a client of John Lauritzen, who is an attorney who is one of our 
original five. We had a few funds that came into us pretty 
quickly, but we had no professional working for us. We had an 
executive first a volunteer. Then a volunteer we paid a little 
money but it was very little. So it was only when we got $100,000 
a year for three years from this lady of which 25 percent could be 
used for administration 

Dorfman: Who was the woman who gave that. 

Koshland: Mrs. Jean Weaver. 

Dorfman: It was a very generous contribution. 

Koshland: Yes, it was very lovely of her. She cut out the $100,000 after 

three years, but she still gives us $25,000 a year for administrative 
purposes. 



Part in Founding 



Dorfman: What part did you play in the founding of the foundation? 

Koshland: When it was first formed, I got a letter [that] I had been appointed. 
I guess I was asked first if I would accept an appointment., I don't 
remember the details. Instead of calling it a corporation 
although we're now incorporating we called it a distribution 
committee. But it's the same as a board of directors. It's 
running the show. 

Dorfman: Do you remember who appointed you? 



188 



Koshland: Originally, the president of the Jewish Welfare Federation made 
the appointment, after which I initiated a change resulting in 
my second appointment being made by a superior court judge, 
[tape interruption] 

Dorfman: We were talking about who appointed you to the foundation initially. 

Koshland: I don't know who was president of the federation at the time. I 
couldn't tell you. Back in 1964 or '65 it could well have been 
Walter Heller. 

Dorfman: That would be the Jewish Welfare Federation? 
Koshland: Yes. 

Dorfman: You said that you had in more recent years been appointed by a 
superior court judge. 

Koshland: It was after about two or three years of operation. As soon as I 
could, we made the change in the bylaws at my insistence. 

Dorfman: Who made the other recent appointments? 

Koshland: Let me see, Al Horn was appointed by the president of Stanford. 

Josephine Van Hoesen, she was appointed by the president of Mills 
College. I'm appointed by the presiding judge of the superior 
court that's four, isn't it? one by the San Mateo head of the 
UBAC organization. You have in this collection of five people, 
all people who have been active in the community. They have been 
on boards or committees of agencies throughout the county. So 
they are a knowledgeable group and a dedicated group. They never 
miss a meeting. I am very proud of them. We have differences. 
We discuss things and automatically and it happens at every 
meeting someone's name comes up, an organization applying for 
money, and somebody says, "I used to be on that board" or "I'm 
presently on that board" and he eliminates himself at once for 
his conflict of interest. So we have no difficulty there. 

Dorfman: Is there a major difference between the San Francisco Foundation 
and the San Mateo Foundation? How would they compare? 

Koshland: They contrast in size; they compare in activities. I think 

that's a fair statement. I think we see eye-to-eye. The San 
Francisco Foundation does give some money in San Mateo. 

Dorfman: For specific purposes? 

Koshland: Right. We tie an agency down and San Francisco does also. There 
have been occasions very few but there have been occasions where 
an agency is granted say $5,000 for a specific purpose. They get 



189 



Koshland: the money and then they use it for some other purpose. It does 
happen, so we have regular reports from the receiving agencies 
about how much they spent for this purpose. We get reports from 
them and we have withheld one or two cases. 

Dorfman: It sounds as though the agencies must be thoroughly accountable. 
Koshland: Right, we demand that. 

Dorfman: Is there one individual with whom you worked very closely over the 
years on the foundation? 

Koshland: Bill Somerville, the executive director. 

Dorfman: What have been the major areas of concern of the board of the 
foundation over the years? 

Koshland: I don't know of any major concerns. We always regret that we 

don't have more money to give away! [laughs] But we're not in 
real competition with United Way because we are giving money to 
creative thinking, new ideas, pilot projects, something new by 
and large, whereas United Way is giving money for regular operations. 
We avoid that. There are occasions in specific cases where we 
give it to operations, but with an understanding that it is given 
for one year or two years or something like that. 

Dorfman: What have the conflicts on the distributions committee been? 

Koshland: There are no conflicts. We have differences. Someone will say 
after we discussed the organization and its value, someone will 
say, "I move we give them $2,000." Someone else will say, "I 
think that's too much. Let's give some money provided that they 
match." Some organizations have access to other funds. We check 
on that. We make them tell us if they are applying to another 
agency or another foundation for money at the same time. 

Dorfman: So that you know what the possibilities for funding are. 

Koshland: Yes. 

Dorfman: What do you see as the future for the San Mateo Foundation? 

Koshland: Oh, I think it's growing slowly. We're only going to know in 

another two years how effective we have been in getting lawyers to 
influence their clients to include us in their wills. You never 
can tell until a person dies. So therefore, the way we're going 
now, we're growing slowly and I think Bill Somerville, in particular, 
is well recognized and respected in the county among the agencies, 
but the people in the private clubs never heard of us by and large. 



190 



Seeking Publicity 



Dorfman: No? 

Koshland: No, we're not known to the general public. We have articles in 
the. paper. We now this year have gone to bimonthly meetings of 
the distribution committee so we can send the reports out to the 
newspapers, what we have given away. Sometimes they publish it, 
sometimes they don't. 

Dorfman: Are you seeking other means of publicity for education purposes? 

Koshland: You heard me on the phone. This fellow, Jack Foster, just now 
informed us that the community sponsors group will ask people 
to give $200 apiece assuming it will be done on an annual basis, 
without commitment. But you primarily make the lay person aware 
of us. So we sent this book out in the mail to people and we 
invited people to meetings at the headquarters. Instead of 
giving them a lecture or a cocktail party, in my case my list is 
made up of commuters. So I asked him to meet me at four o'clock. 
This is early. [I said], "Meet me at the Foundation," where they 
can see for themselves. 

Bill Somerville has a great imagination; splendid. He built 
a resource library that is simply wonderful. He gets the Federal 
Register everyday. He notifies an agency if something is happening 
in Washington that affects that agency, fund raising. He runs 
seminars for people in fund raising and so on. When you want to, 
some day I would like to have you go and see the set-up there. 

Dorfman: I would appreciate doing that, yes. 
Koshland: Because it is all his doing. 
Dorfman: I'll look forward to it. 

When you referred to sending out books, you're talking about 
an annual report such as this one of the San Mateo Foundation. 

Koshland: Yes, such as that. 

Dorfman: Your next contribution was as a member of the board of trustees 
on the National Assembly for Social Policy and Development. 

Koshland: It's a very ambitious effort on the part of dedicated people in 

the East that developed a nation-wide group for social policy and 
development, but I don't think it lasted more than about three 



191 



Koshland: years. Why it fell by the wayside, I don't know yet there were 
outstanding people in it, but something was lost some place 
along the line. They went out of existence. 

Dorfman: In 1973? With whom did you serve with on that board, do you 
remember? 

Koshland: I couldn't tell you. 
Dorfman: Where did they meet. 

Koshland: The first meeting I went to, the organization meeting, was in New 
York. I can't tell you anything about it from that point on. 



Northern California Presbyterian Homes 



Dorfman: In 1967 to 1973, you were a member of the policy advisory committee 
at Northern California Presbyterian Homes. What was the function 
of the policy advisory committee? 



Senior Citizen Concerns//// 



Koshland: Our first function they formed a committee to develop a program to 
build an apartment building for senior citizens of a low or no- 
income group. That is now the Western Park Apartments out on 
Laguna and Ellis Streets. That was the first thing and I was 
assistant to the chairman of the building committee. So if you 
want to find fault with it, blame me for part of it! The 
committee was appointed by the Northern California Presbyterian 
Homes . 

When the building was built I will tell you, we had nothing 
to do with the operation of the building, they ran that themselves. 
Then with changes in personnel it became a building to develop a 
congregate feeding of poor people primarily, people over sixty. 
There is a law, Title VII, I think is the Older Americans Act. 
At that time, it provided anyone over sixty years of age could get 
a meal whether he was rich or poor. There were some people who 
abused it. But we became known as Services for Seniors. But it's 
still controlled I shouldn't say "controlled" it's influenced 
because the organization was separately incorporated as other 
welfare agencies are. But we give the right to the Northern 
California Presbyterian Homes to suggest nominations of people 
for the board, for the five out of the twenty-one people on the 
board. It works very well. 



192 



Koshland: They help us with the annual deficit. We go to the general public 
for a minimum amount. But they were providing a hot meal every 
day for five days a week in some of the Tenderloin apartment 
houses, Notre Dame, and senior citizens down at the Marina. So 
it's a small organization doing an incredible job, I believe. 

Dorfman: Were there special issues on that committee? 



Conflict Due to a Violation 



Koshland: Yes, we had one situation where we were thrown out about five or 
six years ago because it was stated that we were not living up to 
the federal and state regulations in certain respects. It was a 
very difficult time in our relationship here and in Sacramento. 
They threw us out at that time. 

Dorfman: Who did that? 

Koshland: The local authorities that were representing the United States 
government, including the state organization. There were 
violations. Our executive director was guilty of violation. Not 
that he did anything criminal, but he violated certain regulations. 
He had a very good name as being a proven social worker, a very 
successful man as a professional. He made a mistake* 

Dorfman: Who was that? 

Koshland: Dave De Marche. Lester Schaefer came in and became the executive 
and he retired over a year ago. We now have a good man named 
David Newcomer, for the executive. That's a good group of people. 
It's a small organization. The budget is around $350,000 a year. 
In other words, we're charging for meals, but the cost of the food 
itself and all the rest of it is borne by the organization. 

Dorfman: Th^ servicing of that food then, the preparation and delivery. 

Koshland: In fact, we buy all the food from the Sequoias. The Sequoias in 

San Francisco is run by the Northern California Presbyterian Homes, 
so our food is prepared everyday at the Sequoias. We deliver by 
truck to these various sites for congregate feeding. 

Dorfman: What happened when the federal government put you out? 

Koshland: Well, they found violations of the code. We were warned and there 
was stubbornness, I guess, involved in this thing. So they 
discontinued us. 



193 



Dorfman: What was being done specifically? 

Koshland: I can't tell you offhand. I don't remember. But we were guilty. 
There was no serious violation, but there were violations. 

Dorfman: What effect did that have? 

Koshland: I think one of the violations was this. The Federal (government) 
Register said that we must serve anyone who comes in for a meal 
and if he can't make a donation, he doesn't have to pay anything 
if he doesn't want to. But here we opened the Western Park 
Apartments and you develop a spirit and a morale in an apartment 
house like that if you have a good manager. You couldn't have 
any Tom, Dick, and Harry walking in off the street and disrupting 
things in the home. That was one of the main criticisms at the 
time, I remember. We simply had to keep the doors closed to people 
who were not residents of the apartment house. We made them pay 
so much a month for meals to cover the food costs. The federal 
government, I think, was wrong in that rule. But that's the rule. 

Dorfman: Then your next appointment was as a member of the board of 

directors on the Services for Seniors and would have been involved 
with the same organization? 

Koshland: Yes. 

Dorfman: As well as the following service as vice-president of Services for 
Seniors, both in 1973 and 1970? 

Koshland: Yes, that was very interesting because as of a couple of years ago 
this organization which is formed by the Northern California 
Presbyterian Homes had a Catholic as a president and a Jew as a 
vice-president. Cula Mellon you know Tom Mellon who was city 
manager here for years and retired is his wife. She is wonderful; 
a grand person and a wonderful worker. She's up in her eighties 
now and she works as hard as a person in her twenties. She was 
president and I was the vice-president. 

Dorfman: It must have been quite a combination. 

Koshland: It worked. Now they've built another one. They've got an Eastern 
Park Apartments on Eddy and Polk, but we have nothing to do with 
it except that we provide a hot meal a day there, 

Dorfman: You next served on the San Mateo County Commission on Aging in 
1974. What were your activities there? 



194 



Koshland: Were and are, I am a member of the commission and also a member 
of this project review committee. We don't operate anything. 
We're purely organizers you might say. Organizers and martyrs! 
We subcontract. It's an appointment program or feeding for 
nutrition program. We have nine different service committees. 
But we organize, we contract with people to provide these 
services. We don't provide any ourselves. That's the federal 
government edict. We can merely be an organizing and planning 
body. 

Dorfman: What about funding for such an organization? 

Koshland: Ninety percent of the money comes from the federal government,, 

Some things demand matching funds. The other 10 percent sometimes 
comes from the county board of supervisors. 

Dorfman: Have there been special problems on this commission? 

Koshland: No, we're lacking in services for people. For instance, in-home 
care and escort services. We can fund that service which in 
view of the new administration program, we're going to have to 
cut back. That hurts because even if you stood still, the cost 
of living being higher, you're going to give less service for the 
same number of dollars. That is one of the problems. I am very 
interested in what Ronnie Reagan does now. He said, "There will 
be no suffering." Well, if he cleans up the abuse that presumably 
exists in the governmental service and provide the adequate funds 
for the needy, then he has done something. But you first have to 
identify abuse. 



San Mateo County Commission on Aging 



Dorfman: 



Koshland: 



Dorfman: 



Do you see as the major problem for the County Commission on Aging 
as the apparent decreasing source of income. 

Yes, we've got two budgets now on the Commission on Aging. One 
is what we think we should have based upon what we've got this 
year and reduced to a certain amount of what we think we may be 
cut down to. It remains to be seen. We don't know yet what the 
final decision will be in Washington. 

Do you feel that transportation will be one of the great needs for 
seniors? 



195 



Koshland: That doesn't cost so much money because you have a transportation 
system. There is no problem in San Francisco; in San Mateo you 
do because there are 440 square miles against 47 1/2 square miles 
here in San Francisco. So if you go from one part of the county 
to another, it's a chore and it's difficult with public transporta 
tion, and to go from one county to another is difficult. For 
disabled people in particular, to take a bus in San Mateo to go 
to San Francisco is almost impossible. 



196 



XV AN EXPERIENCE DURING THE POLICE STRIKE IN BOSTON, 
MASSACHUSETTS, 1919 

[Interview 7: April 22, 1981]## 



Dorfman: You mentioned, Mr. Koshland, that there were several episodes, 

one in 1919, relating to a police strike. Would you like to tell 
me about that? 

Koshland: Yes, what happened was this. After World War I at the end of 

1918, I returned to Boston and went back to the firm with which I 
was associated, J. Koshland and Company. But in September 1919, 
a year later, the New England National Guard (Twenty-sixth 
Division) had not yet returned from France and the police in Boston 
violated their authority. When a man signed up as a policeman in 
Boston, he signed that he would join the Police Association and 
no other similar association. 

Dorfman: He had to sign that he would not become a member? 

Koshland: Yes, the AF of L was trying to organize the police, but the police 
violated their oath. They joined the AF of L and this one night 
in September they went on strike not all of them. All of the 
officers stayed on. My figures are not necessarily accurate, 
but roughly out of 1,600 or 1,800 policemen, about 400 remained 
out of the strike the captains and Lieutenants and I guess 
sergeants and some patrolmen. 

So the first night there was rioting and looting in the down 
town section of Boston, the retail shopping district. The next 
morning the papers were full of what had happened, and a lot of 
people like myself went to police headquarters and signed up as 
volunteer policemen. It was a very interesting experience. One 
night I would be on for six hours, from six until midnight and 
the next night I would be on duty from midnight until six. I 
stayed in my office and worked throughout the whole period. I 
spent sixty nights on that, but the first few nights were the most 



197 



Koshland : interesting in one respect. For three nights I went around in my 
automobile with a police lieutenant or sergeant going to various 
neighborhoods where they knew there were kidnappers and gambling 
and so-called bad people. 

One night, about the second or third night out, as we were 
going along Washington Street, which is the main retail thoroughfare 
on Boston, we passed Clark's Hotel which had a restaurant on the 
ground floor. [spells name] There was rioting going on in the 
restaurant. So the police officer and I jumped out of the car 
and rushed into the restaurant. Sure enough there were tables, 
bottles, chairs, everything flying through the air. I saw this 
police officer start using his stick and they had given me a stick 
and a pistol and someone suddenly yelled, "Get that fellow!" 
Someone was going toward the exit. I rushed after that fellow, 
jumped on his back, and we went through the doorway. [laughs] 
What stopped me was the runningboard of an automobile. In those 
days, automobiles had runningboards . My nose hit the runningboard 
and that stopped me and this fellow under me, I held him. I put 
a lock on him and the rioting continued inside the hotel in the 
restaurant. A crowd gathered around us and suddenly someone said, 
"You've got the wrong man." So I figured if I had the wrong man I 
had better go back to the restaurant and help my brother on the 
police force! 

It turned out, when things had subsided later they told me 
at the station that the man I had jumped on was a well-known 
burglar and he had a smashed face because I slid out on top of 
him. From that time on, I was always welcome at Station 4 in 
Boston right back of the Tourain Hotel. 

The Tourain was at the corner of Boylston Street and Tremont 
Street. But after this, about the fourth night of going around by 
automobile, they assigned me to a district with another volunteer, 
a lay person like myself. We had an area to cover and the first 
night out though, they called the state guard out. The state 
guard was the state militia that had been built up during the war 
while the national guard was still in France. They were very 
untrained, not capable. The first night I was on, the rioters 
came down Washington Street with a crowd behind them. The noise 
was a terrible noise. It scared the life out of me and yet I was 
walking around two blocks with this "partner." I was scared to 
death, too, and loaded down with a polices tick and two pistols and 
feeling helpless. 

The leader of this group of rioters were in front of the 
state guard that had fixed bayonettes [gestures] and deployed in 
the street right in front of me, and the leader of the group went 
between two state guards, pushed the rifles aside and said, 



198 



Koshland: "See fellows, there is nothing to it." That's how good the state 
guard was. They were afraid to shoot! But the lieutenant there 
told them not to shoot. 

Then after that for sixty nights I walked beat. None of 
those policemen ever got back on the enrollment. 

Dorfman: They did not, they were never rehired? 

Koshland: They were never rehired. It was a different situation in San 
Francisco a few years ago. 

Dorfman: Yes, very. 

Koshland: Well, that takes care of that. 



199 



XVI FURTHER REFLECTIONS ON HOSPITAL PLANNING AND SOCIAL WELFARE 



Dorfman: You were next going to discuss the district hospital legislation 
in 1955 in Sacramento. What happened there? 



Association of California Hospital Districts 



Koshland: It was probably earlier than 1955. The name of the organization 
was the Association of California Hospital Districts. These 
special hospital districts were made possible by the Hill-Burton 
national law, Hill-Burton in 1944. The first hospital rebuilt 
under that program was a hospital in Taft, California. That's 
near Bakersfield. They did everything wrong. In the' first place, 
the hospital board was a politically appointed board by the board 
of supervisors in Kern County, This man had made a survey for 
them, what they called a survey anyway, and they liked him. He 
became the first administrator and everything that could be done 
wrong was done wrong, which gave help to the people who were afraid 
of the district hospitals that this was the way to socialized 
medicine. 



A Legislative Advisory Committee 



Koshland: They figured that because we were a public body independent 

public bodies- -we could undersell in fees the district hospital 
through public bodies and it would be the way to socialized medicine. 
So everything went wrong. By 1955 when the legislature was in 
session, those of us who were active in the district hopsital 
movement I had been suddenly made chairman of the legislative 
committee which really meant in this case the legislative advocacy 
committee. 



200 



Koshland: I didn't know anything about legislative process whatsoever 

nothing but I was nearer to a big city where most of the district 
hospitals were out in the rural areas. So I was picked to be 
chairman of the legislative committee [laughs] and I went to 
Sacramento. I spent the better part of four months off and on 
going back and forth to go to the hearings of the public health 
committee. 

Dorfman: This was 1955? 



A Legislative Victory 



Koshland: That was 1955. There were a dozen bills in the legislature at that 
time, mostly sponsored by this man, Pat Kelly, from Kern County, an 
assemblyman. They wanted to put the district hospitals out of 
business, put so many clamps on them through this legislation that 
we wouldn't have been able to operate. 

Both the California Medical Association and the California 
Hospital Association had permanent lobbyists up there and they were 
for these bills. And we had to fight these powerful lobbies. 

Pat Kelly put the bills in the legislature for passage, but 
we had a committee. We hired a lobbyist. We found that that was 
necessary. 

Dorfman: What was his name? 

Koshland: I forget; he did his job. It came up to a final point after four 
months of hearings, the bills were going to come to a vote. It 
was in the committee of the assembly, the public health committee. 
We got there that morning and found out that there is a legislative 
process trick which naturally I knew nothing about. Overnight, 
Pat Kelly had withdrawn all of his bills and got another assembly 
man to reinstate them. So that caused a delay. But in the meantime, 
he had heard so much about what we did in the committee when we 
knew this was coming to a vote, the day before, we got representatives 
of all of the district hospitals most of them to come to 
Sacramento and speak to the assemblymen and threaten to throw them 
out of office if they didn't kill all of these bills. 

So here were bills that had been thrown out, the same bills 
that had been reinstated. A vote was taken and we were sustained 
entirely. Pat Kelly was scared of his political life and really 
had telephone calls right and left. We engineered some of this by 
getting them [assemblymen] at home beforehand, but when it came to 






201 



Koshland: a vote we had representatives of all of the district hospitals 

in Sacramento. So we licked them. I remember this fellow Salisbury 
was executive director of the California Hospital Association. 
He came over to me afterwards and said, "You win!" 

Dorfman: Which were the organized groups that opposed the legislation? 
Were there organized groups lobbying aginst this legislation? 

Koshland: We were. Our group was the only group that was fighting it. 
Dorfman: So that was a brilliant piece of 
Koshland: It turned out okay. 



Involving the Professional Staff 



Koshland: There was a doctor at Peninsula Hospital, Carl Hoag, who was 

remarkable. He was great, but then two or three years after we 
were going, the medical staff wrote a letter to him and came to 
our meeting and recommended that when Dr. Hoag was no longer able 
and willing to serve, they would like to recommend someone else 
to the board. We knocked that down because on a five-man board, to 
have a captive member means you only have a four-man board. 

And there's another device involving the professional staff, 
namely, the joint conference committee which is mandated by the 
Joint Commission on Accreditation. Its purpose is to permit 
consideration of medico-administrative matters, but not limited to 
them. The committee is made up of two or three members appointed 
by the chief of the medical staff and a like number of the board 
of directors, plus the hospital administrator. 

Generally speaking, to me, hospital boards are comprised 
anywhere from twenty- five to fifty members. This permits the 
utilization of all board members on committees. 

Membership on the board by a member of the medical staff is 
not necessary. In order to assure proper communication between 
the board and the medical staff, the board should insist upon the 
attendance of the chief of staff at all board meetings. This 
enables the medical staff to participate in all board decisions 
and to enable the medical staff to make recommendations in an 
official manner. Likewise, this general communication permits the 
board to function with a full knowledge and cooperation of the 
medical staff. A further device to assure the best relationship 
between board and staff is to have medical staff representation 
on every board committee. These representatives of the medical 
staff should be appointed by the chief of staff. 



202 



Koshland: This has been the arrangement at Peninsula Hospital for several 
years and seems to be quite successful even though a district 
hospital board of five members does require multi- commit tee 
membership by board members. 



Earlier Administrative and Medical Abuses 



Koshland: 






Dorfman: 
Koshland : 



Dorfman: 
Koshland : 

Dorfman: 
Koshland; 



By and large, you speak to people on boards of directors and they 
don't know what's going on. They are satisfied that the 
administrator is doing a good job. He may be and he may not be. 
I could cite you cases to my knowledge where the board didn't 
know what was going on. Mt. Zion is a case. The chief bookkeeper 
was a man named Wood, a very nice man. 

This goes back to the thirties, that decade. Whoever the 
administrator was had left. He was disliked by the board, he was 
disliked by the professional staff, he was disliked by his employees 
They put in his place the man who had been the chief bookkeeper 
there who was nothing. He was merely a tool of the medical staff. 
That is one case. 

There was a case of two brothers who were doctors who were 
in Contra Costa County. They were in the operating room in 
surgery in surgery "while it was going on, the two brothers had 
a fist fight. I got the president of the California Medical 
Association and told him about it because it happened to be a 
district hopsital in Contra Costa County. 

Which hospital was that? 

It was the one in Richmond, San Pablo. A terrible thing. If this 
had been made public, there would have been howling to do away 
with the district hospitals. So I got hold of the president of 
California Medical Association and asked him to look into it. They 
finally did. 



What was the result? 

I forget the ultimate result, 
sure. 



The brothers were disciplined, I'm 



Do you remember their names? 

I would rather not tell you. I'm not sure of it. 



203 



Dorfman: What resulted when this bookkeeper replaced the administrator at 
Mt. Zion? 

Koshland: They finally got him replaced. I guess that's when Mark Berk came 
in. He was an outstanding find, an excellent man. He died too 
early. When he was president-elect of the American Medical 
Association he was in fair shape physically. After he became 
president, he died a few days or months after taking office. He 
had leadership qualities, fine leadership qualities. He knew his 
business. I disagreed with him on some things. The American 
Medical Association used him to go to Washington for legislation 
in the hospital world. He died too young. 



Added Thoughts on the Mt. Zion Hospital Study 



Dorfman: On what issues did you disagree with him? 

Koshland: I know he put through a study that was made. I spoke of this 

earlier. Twenty-five thousand dollars was put up by 1964 I think 
it was 1964 or I'm within one year of being correct jointly by 
Mt. Zion Hospital and the Jewish Federation to make a contract 
with the Stanford Research Institute to study the Mt. Zion program. 
They studied the structure of the program. They took a year. Dr. 
Mark Blumberg was the man at the Stanford Research Institute -./ho 
made the report, gave the report, a volume that thick. [gestures 
thickness] 

It was a splendid, thorough study with certain recommendations, 
I was on the joint committee of the federation and Mt. Zion 
Hospital to handle this thing and then make recommendations, to 
consider the report and do something about it. We had several 
meetings and went around one by one. Walter Heller was chairman 
at that time. He was president of the federation and I guess he 
was co-chairman of the committee. 

After we had all digested the report, we went around one 
after the other, "Are you in favor of implementation without going 
into specifics?" All around the board, including Berk, they all 
said yes. They did nothing but put it on the shelf. They never 
did a goldarned thing about it. 

Dorfman: So you were for the report 
Koshland: I was for the report. 



204 



Advisory Council to State Commission on Aging, 1975-1977M 



Dorfman: I would like to ask you now about your work with the Advisory 
Council to the State Commission on Aging. That, I understand, 
took place between 1975 and 1977. 

Koshland: It sounds about right to me. 

Dorfman: What kind of work did you do with that organization? 

Koshland: It was purely an advisory council. In 1965 the federal government 
passed the Older Americans Act which made monies available to the 
states to do certain things in the health field, to develop 
certain programs that emphasized nutrition, and then you had all 
of these other categorical groups to consider. The state then 
developed an organization whether it had this commission on aging 
I doubt. The State Commission on Aging, which itself was purely 
an advisory body to the state department on aging. Who was the 
man who was a top critic and a very good man in Sacramento, one of 
the Posts Alan Post it was, in Sacramento having to do with 
budgets . 

He came out and he had the legislature with him. It was 
unwieldy the way it was organized. The state commission was 
made up of fifteen people or more. The advisory council was made 
up of around thirty people perhaps from all parts of the state. 
I went along with their recommendations. It was on an advisory 
group to an advisory group. What the state ended up doing so 
the Advisory Hospital Council went out of existence and they 
increased the size of the commission itself from whatever they 
were to twenty-five. In my opinion, they would have done much 
better had they made a state commission of about nine people and 
[had] an advisory group. They could appoint their own advisory 
group throughout the state with a large number of people involved. 

Dorfman: When did they disband? Was it about 1977? 

Koshland: Whatever I wrote there is better than my memory at the moment. 



205 



XVII ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIP 



Dorfman: I also wanted to ask you about your activities on the University 
of California Alumni Council. You were a member of that council 
from 1975 to 1977 as well. 



University of California Alumni Council 



Koshland: Well, it simply was that every university has an alumni association. 
This alumni association has been built up over recent years. Now 
it's a factor. Each of the nine campuses at UC had its own 
alumni council. But this one is purely the California Alumni 
Council and that's for Berkeley. Just the usual activity, nothing 
unusual about it. They worked with the chancellor, a rapport 
between the council, the chancellor, and the president of the 
university. They have certain programs they carry on trying to 
inspire the alumni to have faith in and loyalty to their alma 
mater and support it to the extent possible. But now about seven 
or eight years ago, I think, or six or eight years ago, they 
formed a separate foundation, the University of California-Berkeley 
Foundation. So wisely they took away from the alumni council the 
fund raising program. Dick Erickson, who had been the executive 
director jf the alumni council, became the executive director of 
the foundation, the UC-Berkeley Foundation it's called, and the 
alumni council concentrated on other matters. 

Dorfman: What particularly did the council concentrate on, what kinds of 
issues, goals? 

Koshland: Developing a membership and trying to get them to come back, 
whether it's to come back for a football game or whatnot, to 
develop programs that would have the alumnus take an interest 
in his alma mater. Unfortunately, they never had until fifteen 



206 



Koshland: years ago I'd say roughly, never had recognized the potential 
value of an alumni association. It was only during the last 
fifteen years I'd say that the alumni association has grown and 
become the factor it should be. The membership of the alumni 
association, which is about sixty thousand, is only a third 
of the alumni who should be members, not thinking of the monetary 
part; just recognizing their lack of interest after they get out 
of college. 

Dorfman: What would you say is the importance of building that alumni 
association? 

Koshland: Trying to get former students to come back to the university, to 
contribute to the university and in more recent years also to 
help in legislative matters. 

Dorfman: Was the alumni council interested in any way in changing the 
direction of the university? 

Koshland: No. 



Peninsula Hospital ,and Medical Center Foundation' Trustee 



Dorfman: You have also been a trustee of the Peninsula Hospital and Medical 
Center Foundation since 1979. What have been your activities in 
that foundation? 



Koshland: Oh, they are very small. A doctor named Martin Cohn died and his 
family gave money for aid to nurses and employees who wanted to 
improve themselves professionally, and then another contribution 
came in. So they formed a foundation all for the benefit of the 
employees who wanted to add to their educational experience. It's 
a very small matter. 

Dorfman: So this foundation then permits those educate jnal opportunities? 

Koshland: Yes, a nurse comes in and she's an LVN and she wants to go to 
school and become an RN. We have lots of applications and we 
decide which are the most worthy. It could be in any department 
of the hospital not only nurses any employee who wants to go to 
school and improve himself. So this money builds up. They collect 
from the employees every year now, I think, on a voluntary basis * 

Dorfman: It sounds much like a scholarship foundation. 
Koshland: Very much so, on that order, yes. 



Dorf man : 



Koshland : 



207 



Peninsula Golf and Country Club 



You also have been a member of the Peninsula Golf and Country Club 
What have your activities with that organization been like? 



It was Beresford Country Club, originally a Jewish club. 
have that picture? 



You 



Dorf man: Yes, I do. 



Beresford Country Club 



Koshland: All right. It went downhill constantly as Beresford Country Club, 

Dorfman: You were president of that organization from 1937 to 1939. 

Koshland: Yes. 

Dorfman: What happened? Why did that go downhill? 

Koshland: It was mainly San Franciscans who had built it in the beginning 
and country clubs were novelties at that time. My father was on 
the board of directors, I believe, of maybe the first board. I'm 
not sure. They finally got a piece of ground here, I think about 
150 acres and started the country club. But they were mostly 
San Franciscans who would come down here by train. Automobiles 
and roads weren't so advanced in those days. So you came to 
Burlingame by train and took a taxi up to the club . But 
relatively few of the members played golf. Quite a few dido 
They had tennis also and a swimming pool. But interest went down 
and on top of that they were very snooty and that's what killed 
the club. So therefore, at the end of the war period I mean 
before the war was over a group here of the Beresford Country 
Club people invited non-Jews into the club. In effect, it was a 
sectarian club. 

Dorfman: What you meant by being snooty? 

Koshland: There were among the members a few families whose parents came 
over one boat earlier than the others just snobbishness in the 
extreme! Perfectly good people were kept out of that club. It 
went downhill and it had very few members when I was president. 
So we rectified that by making it a general community affair 
wide open. It's a good, flourishing concern today. But it's 
non-sectarian. 



208 



Dor f man: You are presently a member of that club and it is now called the 
Peninsula Golf and Country Club? 

Koshland: Yes. 

Dorfman: Are there any particular activities other than golf that go on 
at the Peninsula Country Club? 

Koshland: Oh, lots of activities. Outdoors, they've got golf, tennis, 

swimming. But inside they've got all kinds of committees bridge 
and dominos fifteen different committees, different activities. 
I think there is even an educational one. They have some kind of 
a forum. It is a good, going concern [with] a full membership. 

Dorfman: Do you and Mrs. Koshland participate in the activities? 

Koshland: Yes. I don't play golf. My wife plays golf. But in social 
activities, we participate in them. 



Concordia Argonaut Club 



Dorfman: You also have been a member of the Concordia Argonaut Club. 

Koshland: Yes, that's an oldtime club. My father belonged to that. It's a 
merger of the Concordia and the Argonaut clubs which was 
accomplished around 1939 or '40, in that period thereabouts. It's 
a social club with good athletic facilities, including a large 
swimming pool. 

Dorfman: How long have you been a member? 

Koshland: I think I joined after I came back from China. I'm pretty sure I 
was not a member before World War II. 

Dorfman: And it is a social club? Do you attend many functions there? 
Koshland: No. 

Dorfman: What kind of activities have you participated in at the Concordia 
Club? 

Koshland: I go there for dinner once in awhile. I go there for lunch once in 
awhile. If we are in town for dinner, I go to the club and relax 
there. I might have a swim. My wife will call for me then for 
going out to dinner. 



209 



Commonwealth Club of California 



Dorfman: All right, let's go on to your membership in the Commonwealth 

Club of California. What can you tell me about that membership? 

Koshland: That is a broad membership of about 14,000 members and you are 
familiar with its operation. We don't have to go into that. 
When Murray Draper was president, he asked me to be secretary. 

Dorfman: What year was that? 

Koshland: I would say in the early seventies, for one year. It was Judge 
Murray Draper. [spells first name] 

Dorfman: What were your activities during that year when you were secretary? 

Koshland: Very few This goes back to 1903 when the club was formed. 
Father Adams I think it was Edwin Adams I think he was an 
educator. I'm not sure. He formed the Commonwealth Club as a 
forum to hear speakers and make studies. It's a going concern 
today. It does very well. 



An Attempt to Change the Bylaws 



Koshland: What they did to get the thing started was most peculiar. It's 

all wrong in my opinion today. They elect members of the board of 
directors. Then they say to their president, "You can name your 
own secretary and treasurer." That's antiquated legislation. 
They wanted to develop prestige. So when I was secretary 
Murray Draper asked me to be secretary they were surprised I 
attended meetings. They didn't expect me to attend meetings. I 
asked that they reconsider the bylaws so the secretary and the 
treasurer are members of the board. They reconsidered and turned 
me down. 

Dorfman: Oh, they did? 

Koshland: Yes, [it was] silly! Not good organization. 

Dorfman: What other ways did you attempt to change the organization or 
the bylaws of that organization? 

Koshland: None. 

Dorfman: Were there any other issues at that time? 



210 



Koshland: Bear in mind, they have about twenty-five different study groups 
sections. Over the years (not recently, but over the years) I've 
participated in some of these sections. There has been a lot of 
controversy within the sections. They have good, healthy meetings 
and all that. But the reports are not necessarily good reports 
because they don't go into depth thoroughly in any subject. I 
don- 1 1 want to fault them by saying this. I was in the immigration 
section in the thirties. I took an active part in it. When it 
came to a final report, one person wrote a tentative report for 
us to digest and edit. I wrote a couple of paragraphs: "It is 
recognized that in this study there has been no attempt to bring 
out any data or immigration figures," and some other thing that 
was not included in the report. Stuart Wart was then the 
executive secretary. He said, "Bob, that nullifies the value of 
this whole report." I said, "That's just what it deserves." 

Dorfman: How was that met? 

Koshland: That ended that. The report was no good and furthermore, a man, 
Charles Goethe from Sacramento, was one of the proponents of 
changing our laws there. He was afraid of miscegenation he was 
a racist mixed marriages. He felt only the cream of the crop of 
the Aryans should be permitted in this country. I had a lot of 
fun with him at these meetings. We disagreed all of the time. 
He had respect for me and I had respect for him as a gentleman, 
but he just had these old ideas that the country was only for 
Aryans. 

Dorfman: Were there other studies of particular interest in which you 
participated? 

Koshland: The last one in which I participated was on national health 

insurance and the report again was fairly voluminous, but the 
board in my opinion properly turned it down. It showed all of 
the thirteen different structures presented to the Congress from 
Kennedy's at one end to another type at the other end. It 
dragged on for months and months with fair attendance. But when 
we got through with it, it wasn't a report that was worthy of 
being called a report. The board of directors turned it down which 
I think was right. 

Dorfman: Was there anything else of interest within the Commonwealth Club 
that you would like to talk about? 

Koshland: No. 

Dorfman: What is the purpose of the Big C Society? 



211 



Koshland: Primarily it is for people in athletics who have had the Big C. 
Well, I never had the Big C. I had a small C. I was in 
swimming. It was a minor sport. Five years ago they changed 
their rules from a Big C Society to include the little C guys 
like me. Now they have annual and some semi-annual meetings. 
They have a golf day and then they have a banquet. But I'm not 
a golfer. I don't know these individuals. I would be a complete 
stranger going to a meeting. 

Dorfman: So you have not been participating? 
Koshland: No, that's my fault, not their fault. 

Dorfman: Let's come next to your work as a trustee of the Hillsborough 
School Foundation. That was in 1979. 

Koshland: That activity will cease come June 30. 
Dorfman: Oh, why is that? 



Hillsborough School Foundation 



Koshland: Is it the Hillsborough School Foundation you are talking about? 
Dorfman: Yes. 

Koshland: They only organized it a year ago. As a result of Proposition 13, 
schools throughout the state had been hurt terribly. So the 
Hillsborough people have a school district there. They have tried 
to have higher standards in their cirricula. So they formed a 
foundation and I was asked to be a member of the foundation. I 
reluctantly said yes because a very good friend more or less 
insisted that I do join. So we just put over a drive to raise 
money, a very successful drive. That's good for Hillsborough 
children, but how about the few other school districts throughout 
the state that are now moving in to do the same thing. But it's 
wrong, it's wrong in principle. It's all right to do it if it is 
expeditious at the present time, but it's the responsibility of 
government to provide education for its people. Here again, you 
have an affluent community where you can raise money for uie 
education of its people and you have the law which is supposed to 
help people in rural areas who can't afford it. So it's all right 
for the moment, but it's all wrong in the long run. 

Dorfman: And you feel the effort perhaps was too localized? 
Koshland: It's wrong. 



212 



University of California Alumni. Association, Secretary of Class of 1914 



Dorfman: Now, you received a citation from the California Alumni Association 
in 1979 and it was of your class that you were secretary, is that 
correct? 

Koshland: Yes, I was and am secretary of my class. I was never secretary 
of the alumni association. That clarifies that. 



A Citation Awarded 



Dorfman: Yes. Tell me, on what basis was the citation awarded you by the 
California Alumni Association? 

Koshland: Over the many years I first established the freshman scholarships, 
I was chairman for San Mateo County. On occasion I went to other 
towns. I've gone to Sacramento in the interest of the university 
with other people. I can't see any good reason. I've been 
secretary of my class. 

Dorfman: You have been secretary of your class for how many years? 

Koshland: At least forty. 

Dorfman: That may have had something to do with the citation as well. 

Koshland: Because in other words, I've been around a long time! [laughter] 

Dorfman: I suspect it's for your activity as well as the length of it! 
Now, I have some additional questions that I would like to ask 
unless there is something you particularly wanted to add at this 
point. [tape interruption] 

Koshland: Disaster relief, we've covered that? 

Dorfman: No, I don't think that we covered your work with the Red Cross. 
You told me that that was about the period of Pearl Harbor. Why 
don't you tell me about that? How did that come about? 



213 



Koshland; 



XVIII AN IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTION, SAN MATED CHAPTER, AMERICAN 
RED CROSS, 1941 



I was chairman of the disaster relief committee of the San Mateo 
County Chapter of Red Cross. I put in part-time organizing it 
until Pearl Harbor. Then I put in full time. 



Dorfman: I imagine it was a full-time job. 



A Plan for Disaster 



Koshalnd: It was. San Mateo County had its population scattered in at that 

time fifteen or seventeen incorporated communities So I developed 
a program in each of these communities. It was a coordinated 
program. It's all very good and nice on paper. Whether it ever 
would have worked remains to be seen. In any disaster relief 
program, you have got to recognize this, whether it's a wartime 
disaster or peacetime disaster. If it was a real disaster, I would 
assume that a third of the people who accept the responsibilities 
for doing things in a disaster would be killed or injured 
or taking care of their own families or would not report for duty. 
That's one of the things you've got to look out for when you see 
a nice blueprint of a disaster organization. 

I tried to build this thing up so there were three people in 
every major job. If one of the top men didn't show up, the second 
man would within each of these seventeen incorporated communities. 
We built that up and about 3,500 people signed up throughout the 
county. Stretchers were made by Jefferson High School for a dollar 
and a half apiece of canvas and wood to put in hospitals and 
schools. 

We had stretchers in all the schools in the county. So if 
we had a big disaster, people would be out on the ground floor 
or out in the open lying on these stretchers for hours. So we 



214 



Koshland: developed a comprehensive program to meet health and social 
needs. In May of 1942 I left to join the service and said 
good-bye to Red Cross to join the air force. 



215 



XIX 



PHILOSOPHY AND FAMILY 



Thoughts on Recognition//// 



Dorfman: You were going to add some comments here. 

Koshland: I don't believe in having my name on a letterhead unless I am 
doing my share of the work. It's easy to get your name on a 
letterhead of a board of directors. In any event, I think that 
so far as the volunteers are concerned, I have had a fair field 
of experience with unemployment relief. I did a full day's work 
in unemployment relief and in disaster relief and by and large 
I have had the benefit of that experience, not just sitting up 
high on a board. Through this type of activity, I have had much 
to do with professional people in the social work field and in 
the hospital field. Some of my best friends have been 
professionals. I have great respect for the professionals. I 
have my differences of opinion about some of them. 

Unfortunately due to circumstance, they tend to become too 
parochial and not ready to move in terms of what is best for the 
entire community. You see this in the hospital field now in 
particular or hospitals that have low occupancy. St. Joseph's 
is going out of business in San Francisco. Children's Hospital 
and Presbyterian have set up a temporary center for an ultimate 
merger. You need knowledgeable people. But most of the people 
don't work with the executives as they should in my opinion. I 
think I can say truthfully that I have gotten along with 
executives all of my life. I have worked with them period. 

Dorfman: Your reputation certainly is as an expert in lay hospital planning 
and your participation, as you have said, you felt should be a 
practical one and your experience has evidenced that. Can you 
tell me, Mr. Koshland, what has been the reward of your years of 
community activity as a volunteer? 



216 



Rewards of Devotion to Community Work 






Koshland: I have a sense of gratification that all my efforts may not have 
been completely useless. I've had a sense of responsibility to 
the community in which I live. I try to hold up my share in the 
way of activities. I've been able to give personal activity and 
be involved, which has been to my advantage. I was born with a 
silver spoon in my mouth. My family was fairly affluent and I 
don't want to disappoint the hopes of my parents. My life has 
been enriched very definitely because of my activities. My 
interest today is still in the things in which I was interested 
years ago, more particularly at this moment in the health field. 

But when you see some action coming out of all of this, you 
have a sense of gratification. My life is a happier life than 
any number of hundreds of retired business presidents who 
vegetated and have never been prepared for community involvement. 
It's too late for them to get into it now. They are only playing 
golf or working in their garden instead of contributing time that 
they could well contribute to the community. That's where we have 
failed in this country. Now the big corporations are moving in 
this direction. I could name one or two names. But much has to be 
done to prepare people for senior life. By being involved in 
these things that I have been involved in or similar things, a 
person can be not only useful to the community, but certainly 
make his own life a more satisfactory one. 

Dorfman: On the other hand, what have been the disappointments in such a 
lifetime of community service? 

Koshland: I have been a party to too many studies whose recommendations 
have never been implemented. That is one of my gripes. 

Dorfman: Do you feel that that is to be expected, however, that a certain 
number of disappointments in studies 

Koshland: Well, there are so many forces, internal and external forces, in 

any organization. I remember when I was president of the Bay Area 
Welfare Planning Association which covers the five counties of 
the Bay Area, the same as the Community Chest, we jointly sponsored 
a one-day meeting. I think it was out at the state college in 
the city the Community Chest and the Area Welfare Planning 
Federation. After a general talk, the rest of the day was spent 
in workshops. I was chairman of a workshop and I forget what it 
was about. There were about ten or twelve people at the most in 
the workshop. 



217 



Koshland: Without regard to the study, the first thing I found out was that 
and these were professional people and a few lay people, put out 
certain questions, and 1 was very disappointed in the professional 
people in particular when clarifying the child care field or 
family service. You should know where you fit into the general 
program in the community. How many people are unemployed? How 
many people need relief? How many people, this and that? What is 
the total picture? Where does my agency fit into the picture? 
To what extent is it doing its share of the job or is its 
philosophy wrong, like in the child care field where you move 
from institutional care to cottage care to foster care. I was very 
disappointed and wrote about that when we were asked for critiques 
after it was all over. 

People by and large became devoted to the agencies with 
which they were affiliated, whether it was volunteer or professional. 
They didn't realize that there are other agencies, perhaps in the 
same field, doing the same thing, and none of them can see the 
whole picture entirely or know about the whole picture; too much 
ignorance. 

Dorfman: Perhaps self interest which resulted in 

Koshland: To some extent the self-interest would come into it. If a person 
is an executive director of an organization, he is going to do his 
best to build up his own image which is logical. It's human nature. 
But when it comes to jeopardizing his position by changing the 
program to something that is a bit more definitely meeting a 
community need, then I think they fail to some extent. By and 
large, in social work in the community professionals are a splendid 
group of people. 

Dorfman: I would like to know, in your opinion, how you think the Koshland 
family has changed over the years. For example, [what are] the 
changes from your parents ' generation to you and yours to your 
children's perhaps and to your grandchildren's. 

Koshland: Do you mean how has the Koshland family measured up? 
Dorfman: How have they changed? 

Koshland: I can only go back to my parents really. So far as my grandparents 
are concerned, they came here in the early days. My father was 
far less active in the community than my mother. My mother was 
very active. My mother and father had three children. I'm happy 
to say all three children were involved in the community and I 
don't think it is a black mark against any of them. [laughs] 
Does that answer your question? 



218 



Dorfman: What changes do you see between the family generations? 

Koshland: Do you mean in their activites? 

Dorfman: Yes and perhaps in their thought and their goals. 

Koshland: I don't think it's not a criticism. I'm making an observation. 
My parents went into activities welfare activities, community 
activities and developed a parochial interest in those activities. 
When I came along when my generation came along we were 
developing social service as a profession. It was a new profession. 
So we of my generation had the benefit of professional advice that 
my parents didn't have. 

So far as the family is concerned or I'll take my generation, 
my grandfather's children on the Koshland side they have all been 
active in the community. When it comes to their children, there 
may be a difference. There may be a dilution. But so far as my 
cousins are concerned, my sister and brother and all my first 
cousins, every one of them was active in the community and not 
all named Koshland, the sons and daughters who married others. 
Does that answer your question? 

Dorfman: To some extent. Do you see your grandchildren as involved, perhaps 
in a different way, but as socially concerned as your generation? 

Koshland: I think generally speaking my grandchildren will develop, as I 
see them, a desire to be involved. I feel that to be the case. 
They have had the examples the same as we my brother, sister 
and I had the example set in our home. My grandchildren have 
seen that to some extent in their homes. Now they are married 
and two weeks ago what is today, Wednesday? two weeks ago today, 
I became a great grandfather! 

Congratulations, that's marvelous! 

And in another week or two weeks I'm going to have another great 
grandchild. So I can't speak for them! 

No, certainly, but I was interested in your observations. To 
what extent do you think that the rapid pace of today's life, 
which makes many demands on all of us, to what extent do you 
think that rapid pace might limit your grandchildren in the 
richness of life? 

Koshland: Well, I think the rapid pace is bad for all of us. In the old 

days, the family got together very often, the total family. Now 
they are spread out so, they don't have the same social reaction. 
Each of my children went off to his or her own way. They made 



Dorfman: 
Koshland: 

Dorfman: 



219 



Koshland: their own friends. They got married to their friends, they had 
children, and they don't see each other as much as they would 
have fifty years ago. My children just my wife, myself and our 
children don't see as much of each other as we would have seen 
of each other fifty years ago. 

Dorfman: I see, so you feel that it has generally changed? 
Koshland: The automobile and the airplane have done their damage. 

Dorfman: Indeed. Let me ask you how you think you are different as a person 
today than you were years ago in your early years? How have you 
changed? 

Koshland: Well, I knew everything that was wrong years ago! Now I figure 
there are two sides to every question. I'm not as ready to jump 
to conclusions. I hope I haven't gone backwards. 

Dorfman: What would you say has been your greatest joy? 

Koshland: [pause] It helps my ego to come into a place like this and feel 
that I was being accepted by the community and respected by the 
community. 

Dorfman: That certainly is understandable. Do you mean the Peninsula 
Hospital itself? [Robert Koshland nods yes] Your greatest 
disappointment or your greatest sorrow, what has that been? 



A Prolonged Disappointment 



Koshland: To take your decision-making bodies to move in and do something 
where you spend money and time and energy for studies to be made 
in the health and welfare field with which I am acquainted. 

For instance, two years ago I was appointed oy the board of 
supervisors as a member of the group. The advisory councils were 
going along with the board of supervisors. You have drug and 
alcoholic programs and agencies and half a dozen different 
advisory councils which were burdening the board. They decided 
to appoint a commiLcee to come up with some recommendations that 
would ease their lives in that respect. We put in seven or eight 
months at least. It was a battle royal because there were too 
many people on this committee who were agency oriented and 
couldn't see the community attitude. 



220 



Koshland: We came out with a program, which I might say immodestly is 
represented in large measure in my thoughts and philosophic 
background. We got the board to approve it and to pass a 
resolution approving it. They took a long time, as I recommended 
they should, in appointing people to this group, this nine-man 
group, to advise among all of these advisory councils and 
activities in the health and welfare field. We recommended the 
formation of a commission which would be directly responsible to 
the board of supervisors. 

I haven ' t heard a word about it and I don't know what is 
going on. A lot of good people spent a hell of a lot of time 
excuse my French! That disappoints me. The Mt. Zion-SRI 
situation that hurt me a great deal inwardly. When I think of 
all the time this man Mark Blumberg of SRI [Stanford Research 
Institute] spent to account for a volume this thick. [gestures 
thickness] I've spoken to the present president who is a very 
good friend of mine. [I said], "Have you seen that report?" 
No, he knew nothing about it. He is an outstanding, splendid 
person. They buried it there in Mt. Zion. 

Dorfman: Why do you suppose it was buried? 

Koshland: They've got problems at Mt. Zion the same as every agency has 
problems. They are particularly difficult for the tremendous 
program that they have to satisfy all people going into .new areas 
in their activity, being a part of the community. They do a 
splendid job, one of the outstanding hospitals in the city. But 
they should be willing to listen. The medical staff has too much 
influence. 

Dorfman: You also mentioned the difficulty in fund raising within the 

Jewish community if activities and service was to be presented 
on a broader scale to the general community. 

Koshland: Sure. I'm happy to note in this interview, have you see this 
book have you seen this book that just came out? [holds up 
book Architects of Reform by F. Rosenbaum] I'm just about 
finishing it; I'm up to the last 

Dorfman: Oh, yes. 
Koshland: You've seen that? 
Dorfman: Yes, I have. 

Koshland: I've just read I was reading this morning in bed and I recognized 
Mt. Zion mentioned. The author recognized the fact that while 
the majority of its patients at Mt. Zion are non-Jews, it is funded 



221 



Koshland: 



Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



Do rf man : 

Koshland; 

Dorfman: 

Koshland : 
Dorfman : 



by Jewish Welfare Federation. You take doctors, all over. Someone 
had the crazy idea and went to Mark Berk in San Francisco about 
establishing a branch of Mt. Zion down here. I went to a meeting 
in San Mateo and told Mark Berk to lay off. He was playing with 
the idea. He said he would not build one, but he had enough 
pressure brought to bear by a few of his fellow expansionists by 
nature. 

But that never came to pass? 

No. Now take this Peninsula Hospital which has been in existence 
since 1954, and the medical staff has elected Jews as chief of 
staff four times. It was justified years ago to have a Jewish 
hospital because San Francisco's Jewish doctors could not get 
appointments to the medical staffs at the other hospitals. That 
has changed. So the Jewish doctors can go, if they are qualified, 
on any staff really and patients go to where it is more convenient 
for them. The fact is that people go to the hospital where their 
doctor is on the staff and, secondarily , where the hospital is most 
convenient to them. This is what is brought out in the SRI report. 

How would you define your spiritual life? 
Be more specific. 

How do you feel, for example, about God. You have expressed your 
feelings about religion or belonging to a temple. But we haven't 
talked about your feelings about God. 



[laughs] Yes, I'm from Missouri you've got to show me! 
a person who believes in a god. 



I'm not 



What is the most important thing that you would pass on to the 
younger generation, to your grandchildren and to your great 
grandchildren, the one just born and the one expected. 



Personal Philosophy 



Koshland: I would say that in the long run, honesty is the best policy and 
in the short run, too. I didn't mean to phrase it just that way. 
Honesty is the best policy and the truth is the best policy. 
You've got to have the respect of your contemporaries and that is 
based upon integrity and truth. That is what I pass on to my 
children; would pass on to my grandchildren. It has come up once 
or twice in discussions. You are not going to get any place, in 
my opinion, in the community unless you are honest and truthful. 
You must have the respect of people. 



222 



Future of Judaism 



Dorfman: How do you see the future of Judaism? 

Koshland: Of Judaism? [pause] It all depends upon the, I would say now, 
it all depends upon the vitality and existence of Israel. I'm 
not a Zionist. I never was a Zionist. But now that the state 
is here, it must be kept alive and permitted to find its own 
place. That's certainly a long, long struggle; a long struggle. 

Dorfman: Do you feel positively about the outcome of that struggle? 
Koshland : No . 
Dorfman: Why not? 

Koshland: Because I see too many forces which are operating toward a war 

right now. I think they will go to the brink and hope they will 
not go farther. I guess John Foster Dulles went to the brink. 
I am for a bigger defense effort, not that I believe in this sort 
of thing, but it is- the only chance we have to save what we've 
got. When you give in to the Russians we'll be worse off. But 
I see nothing but a devastating war ahead. But not necessarily 
tomorrow. That can be some time off. 

Dorfman: I would like to ask you also, did you find generally that the 

people with whom you worked in your volunteer service behaved for 
the most part ethically? 

Koshland: Yes, yes, definitely. I have been fortunate. In these associations 
in the health and welfare field, you have got, by and large, good 
people. I don't recall any incidents where I would be ashamed of 
something that was done by somebody. 

Dorfman: Your family has been involved in a musical way, both in the 

appreciation and support of musical efforts. Has this been true 
of art as well? 

Koshland: Art, no. 
Dorfman: Why not? 

Koshland: I was never, as long as I remember exposed to art. I was exposed 
somewhat to it. But I never took to it. I've gone through all 
of the museums from the Louvre to all of the others in the world, 
you might say. But I look at a picture and unless someone is there 
who is knowledgeable and tells me what it is all about, I don't 



223 



Koshland: understand. I went to Rome to some galleries. Jimmy [James] 

Ackerman, who is the son of Mrs. Lloyd Ackerman, Sr., is the head 
of the American College Art Department in Rome. We took him and 
his wife to lunch and at the foot of the Spanish Steps are you 
familiar with that area? 

Dorfman: No, I am not. 

Koshland: The art galleries extend for about a block or so, all very small. 
Here is a man who is a professor of art at Harvard University 
spending part of his time over at the American College in Rome 
and all of this modern stuff. We would get to a picture with a 
lot of lines drawn this way and that way and I would say to him, 
"Jim, what does this represent?" He would say, "Well, I think 
he means " And he would give me an explanation I don't under 
stand. I don't understand any art that is not representational. 
Even when it is representational, I can't appreciate [it], I've 
gone through galleries with a guide and if a guide will tell me 
to look at this and look at that, I will begin to have a slight 
understanding. But I never have been active in the arts field. I 
was asked to go on a museum board and I turned it down years ago. 
I didn't feel qualified in any way. 

My sister is active. My brother never was active in the 
arts, but my sister is. She is on the .board of the Asian art 
group and at the Palace of the Legion of Honor. 



Values 



Dorfman: Lastly, to what extent do you think that family goals were achieved, 
such as in regard to position in the community? 

Koshland: Do you mean my entire family? 
Dorfman: Yes. 

Koshland: Well, you never achieve a complete achievement of a goal. You are 
moving toward a goal and as you move forward, the goal moves 
forward, too. So 1 can't say you've achieved any goal. You have 
achieved a certain amount of recognition of something worthwhile. 

Dorfman: Was modesty an important quality within the family from the time 
you were a child? 



224 



Koshland: You ought to ask that of someone who is not a member of the 

family! I can't answer that. I don't recall any members of my 
family ever shouting from the housetops about this or that or 
complaining or making a lot of noise about it. 

Dorfman: You certainly are a modest person, modest about your achievements, 
Koshland: Such as they are! 

Dorfman: You see! Well, this has been a most rewarding and a most 

interesting interview and I am certain it will be of much value 
to authors and scholars who will read your work in the future. 

Koshland: 1 don't know if anyone will ever read it, but I am grateful to 
you and The Bancroft Library et al, for including me. 



225 



XX THE ROBERT J. KOSHLAND FAMILY 
[Interview 8: June 1, 1981] 



Dorfman : 



Koshland : 



Dorfman : 
Koshland: 

Dorfman: 
Koshland: 

Dorfman : 
Koshland: 



Today we said that we were going to discuss your children and your 
family. You and your wife had three children. What kind of 
people are they? 

Well, my son died in 1972. He was chief of personnel at Levi 
Strauss & Company and worked his way up. He had a fine character, 
but he ended his own life. He and his wife had an unhappy 
marriage. His wife wasn't happy and so they were on their way to 
getting a divorce when he died at the age of fifty. 



I have 



That is tragic. 

Those things do happen. He really had a fine character 
no complaints about him at all. 

What was your relationship with him like? 



I think it was a reasonably close relationship between father and 
son,, I don't recall any serious issues, none I can think of. 

What was his boyhood like? 

He went one year to San Mateo High School and then after one year 
he went to Exeter in New Hampshire, He graduated from there in 
1939. So he wasn't at home. Then when he came back here after 
Exeter, he went to the University of Calif ornia He graduated 
there after three and one-half years. That brings us up to '43. 
He had extended privilege, relating to army service, as a student 
and then he went into the army. He was never at home you might 
say from about 1936 until he died. He and his wife had three 
children. 



Dorfman: You had two daughters. 





Robert J. Koshland and son, 
Robert M. Koshland. Gearhart, 
Oregon, 1922. 



Robert J. Koshland and Delphine Rosenfeld, 
engaged, 1920, spending a weekend in 
Westchester, New York, with Daniel 
Koshland . 





Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Koshland, daughter 
Peggy (Margaret Koshland Arnold) , and her 
daughter (Keven Arnold Madvig) , Lake Louise, 
Alberta, 1979. 



Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Koshland, 
November 30, 1980. 



226 



Koshland: The elder of the two is Peggy, Margaret. She went to the University 
of California and graduated at the end of '44. That was during 
the war period that she graduated. Before long she fell in love 
with a fellow who was a handsome young lieutenant of infantry in 
combat. They got married just before he went overseas. His name 
is Robert Arnold. They got married while I was in China. I knew 
what was happening and I did not approve of wartime marriages. 
My daughter wrote in no uncertain terms that I was wrong. I had 
no objection to him personally. From experience, I knew that 
those marriages didn't work. I knew from hearing daily about wives 
who became impatient and husbands who felt they had made a mistake. 
I was concerned about his return. He was expected to be involved 
in the invasion of Japan, but he didn't go overseas until August 
of '45. The Armistice came along while he was on a transport going 
across the Pacific. 

They have three children. Kirk who is a bachelor. He lives 
up in Seattle. He went to high school and finished college. Then 
Keven her daughter is married to another fellow she met at the 
University of California in Santa Cruz on that campus. He is now 
a doctor in residence at Kaiser Hospital in San Francisco Philip 
Madvig. [spells name] 

Then the youngest one is Michael Arnold who now is working for 
his master's and Ph.D. He has passed his orals for a Ph.D. He 
is doing some teaching at the same time. He went to the unversity 
campus at Santa Cruz also. 

Dorfman: That must make you very proud. 

Koshland: He's okay. He is a natural salesman in my opinion. He could sell 
ice to Eskimos! [laughter] My other daughter Susan was just here 
on her way to Hawaii with her husband. They are now grandparents. 
Her two daughters gave birth, one in April 1982 and one in May 
1982. One was born while I was in the hospital in April and the 
other baby was born May 13, the day after I got out of the hospital, 
So we are great grandparents now to two great granddaughters . That 
takes care of the family Susan's husband Bob [Robert] Thede is 
an admiralty lawyer, a member of a firm in San Francisco, very 
bright, a brilliant man and his son is brilliant like him, our 
grandson David. 

Dorfman: What were your relationships with your daughters like? 

Koshland: I think they were normal. I didn't see them for about three years 
during the war period when they were of college age. I think they 
were perfectly normal, average when I get sick, which has just 
happened, I have been a healthy individual all of my life they 
seem to be very solicitous and concerned which was felt by me a 



227 



Values and Expectations 



Dorfman: Were you a critical father of your children? 

Koshland: Yes, I was critical; maybe too critical. I was disciplined as a 
boy. and I thought everybody should be disciplined, and I probably 
was too strict. But they turned out okay! 

Dorfman: What were you most critical of? 

Koshland: Not ideas. I think because I was brought up so strictly in table 
manners, I was strict about table manners silly when you think 
back. 

Dorfman: Perhaps not in the context of the time. 

Koshland: My mother was a very strict disciplinarian and she emphasized 
proper table manners and it carried on through me, I guess. 

Dorfman: Is something that your children have emphasized with their children? 
Koshland: I think they bring them up differently. They are more liberal. 
Dorfman: In what ways? 

Koshland: They get along very well with their children in every way. Their 

relationships are good. My younger daughter, who is now the grand 
mother, that's Susan, her daughter, Suzanne, lives in Salt Lake 
City. When she came out of the hospital, my daughter went up 
there and kept house for two weeks. Then the next few weeks later 
her other daughter had a baby in Walnut Creek here and Susan went 
over and kept house in Danville for two weeks. She is a good 
mother. 

Dorfman: Yes, a very busy one as well! When your children were younger, 
how were decisions made about rearing those children? 

Koshland: They grew up during a certain age when things were much more liberal 
and I guess decisions were made jointly. I don't think we made 
decisions for them. I think we made them all jointly. 

Dorfman: With the children's opinions considered? 

Koshland: Definitely. 

Dorfman: You and your wife shared in the decision-making process? 

Koshland: I think so. 



228 



Dorfman: 

Koshland: 

Dorfman: 

Koshland: 

Dorfman: 

Koshland: 



Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



Dorfman: 



Koshland: 



When you spent time with your children, what kinds of things did 
you do. How was that time spent? 

[pause] I'm trying to think. I don't know how to answer that. 
Were there particular roles assigned to each of the children? 
No, not that I can think of at the moment. 
What kinds of expectations did you have of each of them? 

One thing was when they went through school and had their 
schooling. They all seemed to get along very well. My son was 
city editor of the Daily Gal and made the Golden Bear, the senior 
honor society. 

What year was he city editor? 

About 1942. He graduated in '43, so it was during that period of 
'42- '43. 

The two daughters went to school here. Peggy went to the 
university at Berkeley and Susan went to Stanford. She came 
along four years after Peggy, but she didn't want to be known as 
Peggy's little sister, which is a perfectly normal situation. So 
she went to Stanford and I didn't disagree with her at all. She 
had good reason and it has made for a lot of fun ever since when 
it comes to the Big Game. But as long as she was at school in 
college, after the Big Game there was black crepe paper on her 
door or my door hung by her or me as the case may be! 

What kind of expectations, aside from education, did you have of 
your children? 

They grew up with a group that was not leisure bound or whatever 
way you want to put it. They all had ideas that they should 
participate in the society in which they lived and they have done 
it. My daughter, Susan, works with the Children's Health Council 
in Menlo Park. She works there. That is Susan who is now a 
grandmother. Peggy went through and got a master's degree in 
dyslexia, learning disabilities. She and two other girls taught 
in a clinic here after she got her master's degree. But it didn't 
work out for some reason or another. She is now working in a book 
store in Palo Alto, but does do a little on the side in the way of- 
she has one or two former clients who still come to her for this 
training for dyslexia. So they are not leisure-bound people. 



Dorfman: 



When your children lived at home, did they work at all? 
they hold part-time jobs? 



Did 



229 



Koshland: Bob didn't. He got through an accelerated course because of the 
war. That was in '43. Peggy and Susan well, Susan, after she 
got out of college, got married then and there and she worked as 
a social service worker under the county welfare department in 
San Mateo. So she helped put her husband through college. He is 
a brilliant lawyer today. 

Dorfman: Were your children, when they were at home, involved in volunteer 
projects or activities? 

Koshland: You must remember the times, the war times, and I don't recall their 
being involved then in extracurricular activities. 

Dorfman: They were involved in school activities, were they? 

Koshland: Yes, I think they were reasonably, not in any spectacular manner. 

Dorfman: In athletic activities? 

Koshland: They were active, not too active. 

Dorfman: How were family responsibilities divided among the children at 
home? 

Koshland: I would say there were none, no particular assignments or particular 
duties. 

Dorfman: Who were their friends when they were at home? 

Koshland: Schoolmates. 

Dorfman: Any in particular that you can remember that have remained 

Koshland: They have kept up with some of their high school mates and some 
college mates, both of them have, the two daughters. 

Dorfman: Do you know who any of those people are? 

Koshland: Oh, I've met them. I know them; I have known them, let's put it 
that way. I don't see them. I have seen them when they come 
down here for a special occasion. 

Dorfman: Can you remember their names, any of chem? 

Koshland: Oh, if I name one, I will do an injustice to the others. 

Dorfman: Did you travel with your children, you and your wife? 

Koshland: Yes. 



230 



Dorfman: Tell me about some of your travels with the children. 
Koshland: We took them to Hawaii one time. 
Dorfman: What year was that? 

Koshland: It was 1937 we went to Hawaii with our children. Of course, we 
had no grandchildren in 1937. So we took our children to Hawaii 
on the trip in 1937 and in 1938 we took them up to British 
Columbia on a camping trip in the famous place on a lake Banff 
and Lake Louise. We took them on a week's camping trip out at 
Lake Louise and instead of sleeping in tents we slept in wigwams. 
But the funny part of that the sad part of it was we never saw 
the sun for one week. It rained the whole time we were out camping. 
The girls had their fill of the camp. Bob and I went off and we 
did fishing in the rain. But the girls didn't take to that. They 
weren't fishermen. So they had their fill of camping in one week! 

Dorfman: Did you and Bob fish often at other times? 

Koshland: No, we're not fishermen. 

Dorfman: But that was an enjoyable trip despite the inclement weather? 

Koshland: Yes. 

Dorfman: Were there any other trips that you took with the children? 

Koshland: Two years ago we went to Baja California, Cabo San Lucas down 

there. We took them to Hawaii on my seventieth birthday. That 
was in '63. We took our three kids to Hawaii with their spouses. 

Dorfman: That should have been an exciting trip. 

Koshland: Six months ago, Thanksgiving, we went down to Monterey Dunes and 
had a cottage over the weekend, a good, long weekend. 

Dorfman: With the whole family? 

Koshland: With the children. 

Dorfman: That should have been most enjoyable, 

Koshland: Well, they get along. 

Dorfman: Have your children ever been politically active? 

Koshland: Yes, Susan and her husband were very active for Pete McCloskey 
here when he first ran for Congress. I got to know him at that 
time. Peggy wasn't active, but Susan and her husband were both 
very active. 



231 



Dorfman: Was your son active politically? 
Koshland: No. 

Dorfman: Did any of your children tend to be what might have been considered 
radical politically? 

Koshland: No. 

Dorfman: How about your grandchildren? 

Koshland: I don't think so. In other words, they are more liberal than I 
may have been but never anywhere near radicalism. 

Dorfman: In what ways would they be more liberal than you? 

Koshland: I think they support more liberal candidates. By and large I 

think we agreed pretty well, but my one daughter Peggy's husband, 
who has his own consulting business, he used to be with the 
Stanford Research Institute and then he started out by himself 
with someone else. He is very liberal I would say, this son-in- 
law- 

Dorfman: How did life at home change when the three children left after 
they had gone off to school? 

Koshland: There was a real change. When the children are out of the house, 
life changes. We have had a full social life. I can't complain. 

Dorfman: What kinds of things did you do socially that you didn't do before 
or perhaps not to the extent that you did before? 

Koshland: I imagine my activities and my involvements in health and welfare 
activities, I would say I had more time for that. We were 
brought up in an era when you had servants which my children don't 
have. We lived in luxury I did somewhat as a small boy. I 
lived in real luxury, so I was brought up in a different sort of 
environment . 

Dorfman: Certainly you were all very shocked and saddened by your son's 
death. In what other ways did his death affect the family? 

Koshland: I wouldn't say it was any other than the normal shock and 

disappointment and unhappiness and sorrow caused by all this. 
His widow was here Sunday for lunch a week ago yesterday. We 
have kept in close touch with her in spite of the difficulties 
of the times. She has two daughters. One daughter lives in 
Salt Lake City and is married. The other daughter hasn't found 
herself yet. Her son is now a freshman at U.C. in Berkeley. He 
is very outstanding. We have real expectations of him, he is very 



232 



Koshland: mature very fortunately, his mother looks up to him for advice. 
He is quite mature for a boy who is now nineteen years old. She 
is very frank and open with him in discussing matters. He is 
very mature in my opinion. He is a very fine young man. He is 
just finishing his freshman year at Berkeley. 

Dorfman: What is his name? 

Koshland: Scott. 

Dorfman: What direction educationally does Scott seem to be taking? 

Koshland: He was influenced by my nephew- in- law, Theodore Geballe, who is 
a California grad, who is a professor of physics at Stanford. 
He took Scott on a week-end or two to Pescadero where the 
Geballes have a second home., And they also took him on a vacation 
trip to Canada. They have some small children and Scott fits in. 
Ted has influenced Scott to go into chemistry. He is a professor 
of physics. He started out in chemistry and he has influenced 
Scott a great deal for the good. 

Dorfman: So your expectations then might be along these lines for Scott. 

Koshland: I wouldn't be surprised. He barely knows my nephew, Dan Koshland, 
Jr, who is an outstanding professor in biochemistry over in 
Berkeley. They don't see each other at all. But Scott has been 
influenced unquestionably by the record of these two, one nephew 
and one nephew-in-law, both outstanding professors. 

Dorfman: So the family has had a strong influence on this young man? 
Koshland: I think so. 

Dorfman: What would you say was the happiest time in your family life as 
you look back? 

Koshland: I can't think of any particular time because the kids were away 
a great deal. As soon as they passed the teenage period. I 
can't point to any particular event or episode. 

Dorfman: What did your children do during the summers? Did they go to camp? 

Koshland: Some camp, yes. Peggy went to Kleeberger Camp (he was a physical 
culture professor at U.C., Berkeley <> Bob went to camp in the High 
Sierra; the nature of which I do not recall, 

I don't remember them doing any traveling to speak of. I 
have forgotten, but I should know. 

Dorfman: What would you do differently given the opportunity? 



233 



Koshland: 

Dorfman: 

Koshland: 



Dorfman: 



Koshland; 



I would be a better father. 
In what way? 

I was too strict with my children. When they were small, we always 
had a nurse or someone to take care of each of them. I was too 
selfish. Every weekend I went to the country club and played 
tennis. I enjoyed my life, the weekend life, at the country 
club when I should have spent more time with my children. I have 
always felt that all these years. 



How do your children feel about that? 
it with them? 



Have you ever discussed 



I am sure I 
reactions . 



have discussed it with them, I don't recall their 



Changes in the Generations 



Dorfman: How would you reflect on the changes in the Koshland family over 
the three generations since your parents? 

Koshland: The main change I would note is the fact that all of us were very 
close as first cousins, my father's generation and their children. 
That's the third generation in this country We were all very 
close to each other and we are now to this day. But we are all 
grandparents and great grandparents and that has dissipated the 
closeness I don't want to say closeness because as soon as any 
one of us is sick, the others rush in. They are all very 
solicitous. We all feel very close to each other, but don't see 
as much of each other because we're all grandparents and great 
grandparents. 

Dorfman: So your time is used perhaps differently than it formerly was? 

Koshland: We're very that closeness still remains, although we don't see 
as much of each other. 

Dorfman: So you are still a very cohesive family? 

Koshland: I would say so, very definitely. 

Dorfman: Have the succeeding generations been as close as your generation? 

Koshland: No, no. 

Dorfman: So that is a change then. 



234 



Koshland: One granddaughter is married and lives in there are two grand 
daughters living in Salt Lake City and married. Five of my nine 
grandchildren are married now and that draws them to different 
areas . 

Dorfman: How would you say that your family compared to other families 
in the area as your children were growing up? 

Koshland: I would say they were probably average. 

Dorfman: And comparing your family with those perhaps of your relatives' 
families, your cousins' families? 

Koshland: I would say we were all in somewhat similar circumstances, our 
reactions and activities are comparable. 

Dorfman: What differences might there have been between let us say your 
family and your cousins'? 

Koshland: I can't think of anything offhand. 

Dorfman: What was the similarity between your family and your brother's 
family and your sister's family? 

Koshland: 1 think they were quite similar in experience. 

Dorfman: How much contact with aunts and uncles and cousins and other 
relatives was there when your children were growing up? 

Koshland: I think the same relationships continued through their childhood. 
But then as we branched out and the children were old enough to 
get married, they were bound to draw apart. One thing I always 
insisted was that I would never want to interfere with my 
children's lives. When I graduated from Cal, I moved to 



Koshland: When I graduated from Cal, I went to Boston and worked in the 
family business there. So I had to do with the children of my 
two uncles that lived there, their children. I always figured 
if I ever got married, I would let my children run their own show, 
I wouldn't try to interfere with them,, 

Dorfman: As your uncles did? 

Koshland: No, they brought their children up very well, I think. 

Dorfman: Then they were a model for you? 



235 



Koshland: They were a model and I figured if I ever got married, I would 
not be too strict with my children. I don't think my children 
today would say that I ever interfered with their lives. I was 
a pretty strict disciplinarian, I guess, and there are limitations 
to that. But I don't think I ever interfered with their lives. 

Dorfman: The next question you have partially answered insofar as your 

great-grandson, Scott. Were your family members your children 
influenced by other family members and who might they have been? 

Koshland: Scott you've got. I don't know of any other cases. 
Dorfman: Were your brother's children and your children close? 

Koshland: Not particularly, no. Each developed his own school friends and 
interests which tended to limit the opportunities for relating 
with each other. 

Dorfman: Insofar as behavior and manners, particularly in respect for 
parents, do you see a difference in generations between your 
children and your grandchildren? 

Koshland: Do I see a change in relationship as you go down the line? 
Dorfman: Yes. 

Koshland: I think that my children, my two daughters and their children in 

particular, grew up in I think that they had real freedom. They 

discuss everything openly and in the house. They have complete 
freedom of speech. 

Dorfman: Which you feel is a difference? 

Koshland: Oh, there is a very close relationship between my children and their 
children. Now, with my grandchildren, they get along with their 
parents very well. I have seen it all the way through because 
of that open manner and frankness that exists. 

Dorfman: Do you feel the openness is the factor? 



A flose Relationship with Grandchildren 



Koshland: Yes. I think I can say immodestly that one reason I think we have 
real affection from our grandchildren [in] our relationship, the 
one reason I think we get along very well is number one, they came 
along when I was still active enough to do things around the 



236 



Koshland: swimming pool. I was a good swimmer from the old days and within 
the standards of those days. I did things with my grandchildren 
and discussing affairs of state or of the community, whatever you 
want to call it. I never talked down to my grandchildren. I 
always talked with them and I think that has made for a good 
relationship. Their solicitude when I was sick in the hospital 
just now, more than I would expect. They didn't come because I 
telephoned, because if I had to telephone They came to see me 
of their own volition. I don't think they were importuned to do 
that by their parents. So I think I can say frankly I have top 
relationships with my grandchildren. 

Dorfman: Yes, there seems to have been a sharing then of ideas and an 
openness between you and your grandchildren. 

Koshland: Absolutely. I never talked down to them. 

Dorfman: So there is an openness between you and your grandchildren, perhaps 
more so than might have existed between you and your children? 

Koshland: You have a good point there, yes. 

Dorfman: Something that you undoubtedly have invited. 

Koshland: Well, it just happened that way because of an attitude. 

Dorfman: Certainly the sharing of the athletic activity, the swimming 

Koshland: Well, I was a starter and I would discuss affairs of state and 

politics. But I would talk with them. I don't know more because 
I am an old, experienced person. I don't throw that down their 
throats "I have lived longer than you have and therefore I know 
more than you do." I don't go for that. 

Dorfman: Just before you and Mrs. Koshland celebrated your sixtieth wedding 
anniversary, you promised to give a little more thought to what 
you feel might have been contributing factors in helping you both 
to sustain a marriage of sixty years. 

Koshland: That indicates to begin with, I have a very understanding and 
tolerant wife! 

Dorfman: What do you mean by that? 

Koshland: Well, I have certain fixed ideas on certain things. She may think 
I am overemphasizing certain things on occasion. I said may be. 
But I always encouraged her to make her own life. I didn't want 
her to be a slave in the house. She made her own life. She has 
her own interests. She has many, many friends that she has made on 
her own, not because of any family connection. So I think that 
has all been to the good. 



237 



Dorfman: Do you share activities and interests together? 

Koshland; To a limited extent. In other words, I have got my interests and 

my organizations with which I am connected and she has her interests 

Dorfman: Are there some that you share in particular? 

Koshland: None. 

Dorfman: None organizationally? 

Koshland: Right. 

The Future 



Dorfman: What about your future? How do you view your future? 

Koshland: [laughs] I'm eighty-eight years old. You know the old saying 
"I ain't got no future but, oh, what a past!" [laughter] 

Dorfman: You are still working, you are still active. 

Koshland: Well, I'm going to keep up with it as long as I can. Otherwise, I 
am no use to the community at all. I hope I have done some things 
that will make my children and grandchildren and other descendants 
think that I wasn't the worst guy in the world. 

Dorfman: That would be difficult to do! What plans do you have for 
activities and work into the future and perhaps travel? 

Koshland: Traveling is of secondary importance. I am involved in certain 
things. I was on the phone this morning with friends in the 
San Mateo Foundation, now known as Peninsula Community Foundation, 
on something. The reason for this change in name was due to the 
fact that many agencies in northern Santa Clara County (Pale Alto 
area) had applied for and received grants from us . I am very much 
interested in these organizations, but I preach limited service. 
You can move from one agency to another when you are younger, but 
I have always felt there is a limit to a person's tenure on any 
agency board. I've helped to vrite bylaws to that effect. But 
when it comes to me getting out of things, I don't want to get 
out of. But I am doing it because I believe in it. In one case, 
the San Mateo Foundation I helped start it. It is a small 
foundation. It is just under five million dollars now. It's a 
small foundation. But I have very close feelings with the other 
members of this distribution committee. I should get off and I 
will be getting off, but that will be with the greatest regret. 



238 



Koshland: 



Dorfman: 
Koshland; 



Dorfman: 

Koshland: 
Dorfman: 

Koshland: 



I got retired from Peninsula Hospital board at the end of 1962 
because I felt I should and I did. The hospital has prospered 
and become a valuable community asset, but I have a sense of 
proprietorship which is selfish, egotistical. 

You left-- 

When I got out of the Peninsula Hospital, I was still in health 
facilities planning. So that carried on for a certain number of 
years. I'll be getting off of the Commission on Aging here at 
the end of my present term which is next April. I will be getting 
off of that. 



When do you plan to leave the San Mateo Foundation? Do 
a projected date for that? 

No, I have not set a date for it. 



you have 



Is it possible that you will use your efforts in another direction 
for yet another agency? 

I doubt it. I have refused to go on one or two boards in the last 
two or three years. I think it is time for me to get off of these 
things and not get into these things. But I don't want to vegetate 
for the rest of my life. I have never done anything in the garden, 
so I am not going to become a gardener in my nineties. 



Thoughts on Being Remembered 



Dorfman: 



Koshland: 



Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



No, it's hard to think of you vegetating, 
would like to be remembered? 



Let me ask you how you 



As a person who has lived a worthwhile life and not a disappointment 
to his parents. My parents died. My father died on March 29, 1925 
when I was only thirty-two years old at that time. So he didn't 
have any chance to see although he thought I won World War I 
single-handed . 

I'm sure he was very proud of you. 

I attempted to go overseas. I couldn't get overseas. I wanted to. 
I was kept back here as an instructor. I was a captain and my 
father thought I won the war all along. 

My mother lived until she was eighty-six. She died on 
October 14, 1953, and she saw her three children grow up to 
maturity. They were all involved in community affairs, so she had 
no particular regrets on that score. 



239 



Dorfman: She must have been very proud. 

Koshland: Well, I don't know about that, but all three of us have been active 
in the community and my mother was knowledgeable in that respect. 



The Meaning of Being Jewish 



Dorfman: Looking back, what difference has it made that you were Jewish? 

Koshland: I knew as a boy and all through my college days that Jews were 
excluded from certain social activities in the community and in 
school. In high school I knew that because I was Jewish I was 
not taken into any fraternity. That was true of my brother and 
others. Jews were not taken into the fraternities. Even when I 
went to Cal they weren't. There were one or two exceptions, but 
only one or two. Friends of mine, incidentally, who came from 
Los Angeles, so therefore I knew this, that throughout life, 
assuming the situation continued, that I would have to be a little 
bit better than the next guy to hold my own in school,, I figure, 
generally speaking, you'll find that most Jews are in the same 
situation. You had to strive and work a little harder. That was 
my early experience in high school. [There was] the same thing you 
might say in college. I was active in certain things in college 
but not socially. I was on the swimming team and the College of 
Commerce Club, things like that that had to do with the university 
directly, but never any the only social life I participated in in 
four years on the campus was going to the junior prom and the 
senior ball. 

I think that was typical of the times I was not unique in 
that respect. I think throughout life you recognize the fact that 
there is anti-Semitism. It crops up more in some places than in 
other places. As a matter of fact, you have got a local situation 
here where you have a great degree of assimilation and acceptance. 
That is not a proper word, but I can't think of a better one at 
the moment. Whereas if you go to New York or Chicago where you 
have ghettos, there is not the same degree of assimilation., In 
San Francisco in particular, you have either the Pacific Union 
Club or the Bohemian Club. In the last few years they have taken 
Jews in. They have finally broken down. 

You find this in some of the major corporations now in the 
country. But anti-Semitism has been prevalent. It is breaking 
down, but it has broken down to a greater extent here in San 
Francisco than in any other area in the country. 



240 



Dorfman: In what way was this a result of assimilation and intermarriage 
on the part of Jews? 

Koshland: It is partly intermarriage, but partly activities nearer the last 
frontier. In other words, as a third generation Calif ornian I 
wouldn't rate in Boston where they have Harvard behind them with 
three hundred years of experience behind them. You can say the 
same about Yale and Princeton. Here there have never been I 
remember my grandparents who were pioneers here. Those are 
factors that may have militated toward acceptance in the general 
community. I have evidently been reasonably satisfactory in my 
activities in the health and welfare field. I have been asked to 
go on boards and committees. I feel no compunctions about any of 
this at all, as far as those changing attitudes in the general 
community. But you won't find that in Boston, Chicago, and New 
York. 

Dorfman: That is very interesting. 

Koshland: I have very strong convictions about this. 



Anti-Semitism 



Koshland: The rabbis and the Jewish social workers have a very parochial 

viewpoint. For their survival, they feel it is necessary for the 
Jews to ghettoize themselves. I understand and appreciate their 
viewpoint, but I don't go along with them. I am not a member of 
any temple. 

Dorfman: Do you feel that anti-Semitism is increasing? 

Koshland: Yes. This has been documented in several recent studies as well. 
This is due, perhaps, to the current situation in the Middle East. 
(B'nai Brith sponsored a study by the University of California at 



Berkeley. There was also a study released last year, 
the name of the sponsor.) 



I don t know 



Survival of Judaism 



Dorfman: What do you feel then that the future for Judaism holds? 

Koshland: As long as they insist on surviving, they are going to survive 

for generations to come. But it takes a lot of activity, lots of 
organization and dedication. 



241 



Dorfman: 
Koshland: 

Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



Dorfman: 



And continuation of what you called ghettoization? 

Yes. I have spoken openly about this sometimes with rabbis. So 
therefore I am a poor Jew. I have been active in the philanthropic 
part of Judaism, but not in the political part. 

Rather than a poor Jew, but perhaps one who doesn't agree 

Most of the Jews in the world are orthodox and they are reluctant 
to I belong to the reform group socially at least. The reform 
group will tend to assimilate more readily than the orthodox group. 
The orthodox group retains some of the old habits and practices. 
It is comparable to what the Christian people have done but in a 
different field. The pope carries little things on his head and 
the Jews have a thing like that. [yarmulke or skullcap] When it 
comes to dietary laws, they each have their own dietary laws. I 
think they are both backward. There was a good reason for dietary 
laws when certain animals were you might say dirty, subject to 
infection and whatnot. But the orthodox Jew still maintains the 



dietary laws. Well, that's a detail, 
approach to it. 



It's not a major philosophic 



What would say in answer to the same question, what difference has 
it made that you were Jewish, was the difference the same in your 
later years, in your mature years? 



Pride in Being Jewish 



Koshland: I don't follow things a great deal. I have taken the unpopular 

course by not joining a temple. But I am proud to be a Jew. I am 
not apologetic about that at all. I have participated ever since 
I got out of school in Jewish philanthropic activities, but not 
beyond that. 

Dorfman: Well, it certainly is a strong viewpoint and one that took courage 
to continue in face of opposition. 

Koshland: I go to funerals of Jews. I hear all these statements made, at 

various gatherings of Jews. Sometimes it is a quotation, sometimes 
a direct statement or philosophic viewpoint, I tend to become very 
cynical. To me it's a matter of well, the world in general is 
made up of religious groups and they are very parochial in their 
attitudes, all of them. When you talk about a god and statements 
such as "God in his omnipotence," and-I have my own reservations 
about a god., I can't recognize a physical god, a super intellect 
like that. But I read about either the Christians or the Jews or 
the Moslems, [and] I say, "I'm from Missouri, you've got to show me!" 



242 



Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



Do you believe in a hereafter? 

I think we are all animals and I say that with due 



I do not. 
reverence. 



I am not denigrating when I say animals. 



A Warm Relationship with Cousin, Edgar Sinton 



Dorfman: Have you been close to your cousin, Edgar Sinton? 

Koshland: We are quite close. 

Dorfman: What has that relationship been like over the years? 

Koshland: Very pleasant at all times. 

Dorfman: You grew up together? 

Koshland: Yes, we did. 

Dorfman: Were you in school at the same time at Cal? 

Koshland: No, he was one generation, four years ahead of me. He graduated 
in 1910; I graduated in 1914. He and Walter Haas were buddies. 
They went through college together. I came along just when they 
got through. 

Dorfman: What kinds of things have you done together? 

Koshland: We have done many things. We have a large family as you know. 
There were certain common interests that my grandfather had in 
San Luis Obispo. There were lands that were owned by the family. 
Edgar has handled all that for the family and has never gotten 
a nickel for it, not that they didn't want to. They tried to 
reimburse him never because anything for the family, he gives. He 
is a very conscientious person. 

Dorfman: Has your relationship continued to be close as the years have 
gone by? 

Koshland: Yes, it always has been. As a matter of fact, he was here the 

other day. I'm going to go in the city [to the office] Wednesday 

now for the first time. I have been away for today is the first, 
isn't it? 

Dorfman: Yes. 

Koshland: I went into the hospital March 31 and came out May 12. So he 

came the other day to see me and we are going to ride into town 
together on Wednesday. But he's offering his driver, the 



243 



Koshland: 

Dor f man: 

Koshland: 

Dorfman: 

Koshland: 



Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



Dorfman: 

Koshland; 

Dorfman: 

Koshland: 

Dorfman: 
Koshland: 



Dorfman: 

Koshland: 
Dorfman: 



houseman, to drive us. He takes the train. I've been commuting by 
train up to the present time and I shouldn't go by train for a 
little while until I get my leg in better shape. 

So you will drive in together then on Wednesday? 
Yes, 



That's very nice, 
ship together. 



So you have enjoyed a long and a strong relation- 



We have, yes. His older brother, Stanley Sinton, Sr., was my 
partner in business in Boston. His brother Stanley, Sr. was the 
only person who ever resigned from the firm and we closed down a 
year later. He left in January of '29 and by 1930 we had decided 
to close the business. 

Why did he resign? 

He wanted to live out on the coast here and when we closed, we 
decided to liquidate our business in 1930. Then I had the choice 
of what I was going to do in the future. I decided to move back 
here. 

Was that a difficult choice for you? 
No. 

Are there other areas that you think that we can cover, anything 
else that you can think of that we haven't covered at this point? 

We have certainly covered the health and welfare angle. We have 
now covered the family. We covered my years in business in Boston, 
We covered that; what's left? 



I do have one other question, 
than perhaps ten years ago? 



Do you feel more or less Jewish today 



I certainly don't feel more Jewish because of what I've already 
said. At the moment I am not active in any Jewish affairs. It 
just happens. But I just got off of the Federation Committee on 
Aging a couple of years ago. I said,. "Take me off. I've been here 
long enough." So if I am less active in Jewish affairs, it is 
just circumstance, not by design. 

This has been most interesting and valuable interview. Thank you and 
we would like the opportunity, if the need for clarification arises, 
to contact you further. 

Feel free to do that. 
Thank you. 



244 



XXI DELPHINE ROSENFELD KOSHLAND 
[Interview 9: June 25, 1981]## 



Mrs. Koshland's busy schedule did not permit the time for a full 
oral history. It was, therefore, decided to take down some 
information during our talk. These statements do not reflect her 
extensive lifetime contributions and activities. 

During a conversation with Delphine Rosenfeld Koshland in the 
living room of the spacious Robert Koshland family home in 
Hillsborough, California, Mrs. Koshland spoke of her family and 
life in Portland, Oregon; Boston, Massachusetts; and San Francisco, 
California. 

She was born into a family "that probably came from Germany." 
Her parents, Minnie and Charles Rosenfeld, both of whom were born 
in New York City, moved to Portland, Oregon where Delphine, an only 
child, was born. Her grandparents remained in New York, "but I 
went east every year with my mother to see her father, Nathan Wise, 
who had remarried after her mother's death. I never knew my 
grandmother, his first wife, and I don't remember my other grand 
parents." In 1906, at the time of the earthquake, Mrs. Wise and 
her young daughter, Delphine, traveled to the East, changing trains 
in Chicago, "and my mother lost our tickets but she got them back. 
I remember that!" Minnie Wise Rosenfeld died in 1939 at the age 
of 72. 

Charles Rosenfeld was employed in his uncle Saul's cigar 
business, Rosenfeld Smith, when he came west to Portland. He 
affiliated with the Masons and Elks in that city and, with his 
wife, was a member of Temple Beth Israel. Neither observant Jews 
nor active temple members, they did not attend services. Mrs. 
Koshland does not recall that religion played a role in the 
family. 

As an only child, Delphine Rosenfeld remembers her family home 
as very pleasant, not large, and her favorite room, "the upstairs 
sitting room." The family was socially active and "well thought of 
by the community." 



245 



After Sunday school, young Delphine spent the afternoon at the 
home of a great aunt, Mrs. Isam [Rose] White, with whom she had 
a special relationship. Childhood and girlhood were happy times, 
despite "more restrictive dating and courtship practices. We 
had to be home earlier, by ten or eleven and I couldn't go out alone 
with a boy." Social groups and friends were not limited to the 
Jewish community. "Definitely not! I was brought up very 
liberally." 

"My mother had two brothers and two sisters. My uncles were 
in the hosiery business in New York. Bennett Cerf was my first 
cousin. When I was about fourteen, we would stay with his mother, 
and Bennett and I would buy tickets to these nickel dances on 
Saturday. There was a live orchestra; it was ballroom dancing and 
in those days they were considered all right. We went in the 
daytime and traveled there on the subway. Bennett was a very 
attractive and bright young man. He visited the West once 
with an uncle." 

There were no discussions about women's suffrage in the 
Rosenfeld home, nor did Delphine ever work. Asked why she chose 
to attend the University of California, Berkeley [1918-1920], 
Mrs. Koshland said, "I never thought of an Eastern college. I 
lived at the old Stern Hall, at that time a dormitory, behind 
Newman Hall during my first year of college and boarded with a 
family in Berkeley for the second year. I spent weekends in 
San Francisco with the aunt of a friend from Portland. My father 
paid part of her rent so I could spend time there." She was never 
a sorority member. "I 'would never have joined a Jewish sorority 
and I was never asked." 

Asked if she came preparing for a career, "I never thought of 
expectations, my own or my parents, I just went to college. While 
I was a student, I met Mr. Koshland at a dinner party at his aunt's 
home . " 

Delphine Rosenfeld and Robert Koshland were married in Temple 
Beth Israel in Portland, Oregon, by Dr. Jonah B. Wioe, a cousin by 
marriage. Consistent with their liberal backgrounds, when the 
couple celebrated Christmas in their home, there were no objections 
from either family. "We were not a religious family, so none of 
these things pertain to us." Also recalled were trips to Portland 
while Mr. Koshland wac away on his annual wool buying trip. 

Mr. Koshland has a strong interest in the symphony and opera, 
and Mrs. Koshland attends musical events with him. "My strongest 
interest is at Peninsula Hospital working in the auxiliary. I've 
been in almost all of the services because I've been at the 
hospital for twenty-five years. But now, I work at the information 



246 



and reception service once a week. I have assisted in training 
others for the same positions. I was also vice president in 1954 
and on the board when the hospital opened." Mrs. Koshland added, 
"I just like working in a hospital." 

A board member of Suicide Prevention and Crisis Center for 
two years, Delphine Koshland also worked for twenty years at the 
Mt. Zion Psychiatric Hospital, transcribing interviews three to 
four days a week. For a short time, she transcribed books for 
the blind and found it interesting and demanding work. 

"I was a lieutenant in the motor corps of the American Red 
Cross, San Mateo Chapter, from 1941 for approximately five or 
six years. I started out by spotting planes in a tower on Skyline, 
280; it was boring, no planes came by. In the motor corps I drove 
service personnel and pregnant women to Oak Knoll Naval Hospital, 
sometimes at three or four in the morning. I didn't think anything 
of it. I went out with another lady. There was a small hospital 
in Brisbane where we took servicemen, too." 

The Koshlands enjoy giving dinner parties for friends, and 
family gatherings, such as Thanksgiving. "The children and grand 
children like to come here. It's nice to have the family together." 
Mrs. Koshland enjoys playing bridge, but does not call herself an 
accomplished player. Her eightieth birthday was spent at Monterey 
Dunes with Mr. Koshland, their daughters and sons-in-law. They 
"walked on the beach, relaxed, and the men played gin with Mr. 
Koshland. It was nice." 

A painting by Marcel D. Dyf, hanging in the dining room, was 
purchased in Paris in the late fifties or early sixties. The 
Koshlands have never collected art because "neither Mr. Koshland 
nor I know a lot about art." She has enjoyed all of their travels, 
Europe, Japan, Hawaii and South America. 

As to the happiest time of life, "they've all been happy when 
we were well and we had children and grandchildren." The most 
difficult time was the day that the San Francisco International 
Airport opened in 1954. "We heard that our son, as a married man, 
had polio. He was paralyzed in one leg, but he walked on half 
crutches." 

In closing, Mrs. Koshland emphasized, "I've lived a normal life, 
a very happy life," and as to how she wishes to be remembered, "as 
a good mother and a good grandmother." 



Transcriber: Michelle Stafford 
Final Typist: Keiko Sugimoto 



247 



TAPE GUIDE Robert Koshland 



Interview 1: November 6, 1980 
tape 1, side A 
tape 1, side B 

Interview 2: November 20, 1980 
tape 2, side A 
tape 2, side B 
'tape 3, side A 
tape 3, side B 

Interview 3: December 5, 1980 
tape 4, side A 
tape 4, side B 

insert from end of tape 4, side B 
resume tape 4, side B 
tape 5, side A 
tape 5, side B 

Interview 4: February 2, 1981 
tape 6, side A 
tape 6, side B 
tape 7, side A 
tape 7, side B 

Interview 5: February 13, 1981 
tape 8, side A 
tape 8, side B 
tape 9, side A 
tape 9, side B 
tape 10, side A [side B not recorded] 

Interview 6: February 27, 1981 

tape 11, side A 

tape 11, side B 

tape 12, side A 

tape 12, side B 

Interview 7: April 22, 1981 
tape 13, side A 
tape 13, side B 
tape 14, side A [side B not recorded] 

Interview 8: June 1, 1981 
tape 15, side A 
tape 15, side B 

Interview 9: June 25, 1981 
tape 16, side A 



1 

1 

10 

18 
18 
28 
39 
50 

52 
52 
61 
61 
62 
70 
80 

83 
83 
94 

104 
116 

121 

121 
131 
141 
152 
157 

162 
162 
172 
181 
191 

196 
196 
204 
215 

225 
225 
234 

244 

244 



APPENDICES 



248 
APPENDIX A - Koshland (Koschland) Genealogy 



ISRAEL KOSCHLAND 
72 OLD POND ROAD 
GREAT NECK, N. Y. 







249 




250 



Israel 1755 to4.6.1840 



Children: 
Moaes 8 
ch 



Daniel 

chi 



.12 1792 - 

: Jeras 1819 

leak 1820 to America 

Abrahaml822(4 years) 

Telze 1828 

Jette 1830 

Nathanl832 

Jeanette36 
9.9.1793- 

Hepdle 1823 

Abrahaml824 



(Nathan cont) 

Iaraell84.'!-1880 
ch:Emanuel 
Betty 
Lina 1876 
Samuell878 
NamettelBSO 
Smanuel 1844 (died in 
Jeanatte 
Jeras 1803 



teaa 



Simon 1825 
ch: Josef 
Llarkua 
Israel 
llethiaa 
Hetty 
Garry 
Fanny 

Telze 1826 
Hendle 1827 
Gustar 1830 
Hathan 1832 
ch: Israel 
Pradel 
Cora 
Nora 

Hathiasl834 
Gietel 1835 
Babettel837 
Esther 1838 
Clara 1839 
Abraham! 840 
Israel 1841 
ch: Uax 
Adolf 
Simon 
Lina 
Flora 
Eed'.vig 
Eannchen 
Rosa 
Emma 

Gumper 2.19.1796- 
Eeinrich 
Theresa 



Nathan 



Simon 
Guraper 

Abraham 

Fanny 

Isac 

Iherese 

Hgina 



1633 
1834 
1835 
1837 



1825 
183^ 
1837 
1538 
1842 



to 



America 

n 



to Baltmore 



251 

II a t h i a s 3]64-1833 

Children; Israel 1796-1880 

Seligmann 1816-1901 

Mathias 1843-1916 
Fanny 1875 
Era 1877 
Helenel878 
Ella 1879 
Iaraell881 (that's me) 

Lily 

Menki 1882 
Lola 
Max 
Eugo 
LeopoSanno 

Helena IOAA ~ 
Leopold 1847- 1933 

Isac 

Henny 

Sophie 

Israel 

Nanette 



Fanny 185E-1931 
Lazarus 

18E8-1880 
Julius 
Seligmann 
Fanny 
Lina 

Moritz 1832-1888 
Fanny Daucmitni 
David 

Sarah 
llarkus 
Dorah 
Eva 

Hannchen 
Gella 
Carolina 
Israel 
Jacob 
Seligminn 
'Miel 1800_ wife of Daniel Zoshland 

see above 

Abraham 1802 to Paris, France 
Kela 1804 
Yeras 
Babette wife of Oppenheimer 

left for America (Kadserston<J) 



"*1^^ 

' * "". ~ * * -"' - . ' *V - "J?T"* 



A 



\ '-f- 

'- 



t a 



"" "' 



i - -<:- 
-.*% ;. 

.' -4^ 

A.. '**-, 



-. * 




--, - .-.- ^ 
<ti -hrTSa 

4 




253 



.:*. 

V ~ 

'*> 



& r 



a at fcn J" s r a * 1 vsaderte etoa t JWtr* 1750 cus 
in Jchfnkausen^tn.Sr' 1st tm dorttgen Memor* 
sehr spohlth&ttg f tTisb* sondfTf Kat er 3"lch d 

AlTE71 tS ffflXiffSn lafinffLS CTLQtnO'SiStS'tl. - 

*'-'-"- tr htnterlless seeks S&hne von dffTien die nachsteksnden 
seoiss Llnlen 



s -4 

/ .- ,*f"e 
* * " 

-*!%>* 
.- *- '-, 



Abraham ben Israel migrated about in the 
year 1750 from KOSCHLAN in Bohemia and arrived 
in Ichenhausen. He is recorded in the book of 
Memories there, as a very benevolent person, 
especially has he shown consideration toward the 
poor in the Holy Land. 

He left six sons, from which the following 
six lines in lineage start. 



:,' '^x- i- * - 



J ^ ^Rff^lSS 



- : -*i v i- .-^ 
'l&slj 

^*rai 



"S^Skf^r^t" 

^/%W55 



."' ' - ' -. 

-- : ssi- : ":i: 




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-J s r * t 1 2755 - 6+4+1840 * -' - rtTvmy 1759 



Teix* 1828 
Jette 1830 

^ 1 T , 7 O *>O 
Mjf Lj^^jJ / Q O <c 

Scllgvaxn 1836 4 
Gletsl 1836* 



nisi 




Ttlxe 

Send!* 1827 r 



0999 12+8+192 - -: ' rzXtnrl* 1793 -10+3+823 

';,- - Ktodell794 - 1854 



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':- .-^v *..-, : -'..->?;! -- -"^ ; ^ : <: 

-152fi 




^. ^ Vf^ 




255 



. . V 
. - 

* 



'*: ;_.. \ ! 

- "/..;' ;-' -t- 



JTore 



2534 
Gtctil 1835 
B&bette 1837 
1838 . 



1840 
1841 



:*s$ tms. Slnzh* I ner t 



/ 



1134 



flor* 
Sedvlg 
ffennchen 

Scs* 



6 ti-K p e T 19+2.1796 - 
Jctte 1531 3Xt^ 
1832 

1834 
1335 

-:-2327 - 

s s t i i-i",- 



Xtyer 1803 - 52 . 
2755 - 184$: 

9 V*ngen ' " ' 



%~:l 




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Jertat 1803 - 




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Hi Mft 

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&&i$ *&*&s&*^j-^^^ 

- '?#< -A frt^*'*J^18^Z^Pi&gi^&^^^ 



r.'-^, '* 
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&arl frtedrlch 1849 (Toledo-Ohio) 
Jtiasc. 1853 

. :.'[. - ;' ,: '->.. -*-;-.. 

J s r & e 1 181$ .- * -~ . .-vr <.. 

*> 

M m v * r) 



z I * r(X*rtln) 17S2 - 29.3.1827 tear els fesshelfer elnes 

exscrs nsch Melas und rta?is dort 

den Baaten X*ver *a. - 

FtCSeJe get. Corns 1778-17.3*1832 
J ff a o 1796 -2557 * -' : - 

J&rsh. 1799-1866 I 



, GrossTchrhtl*. 



Berts. 1841-1895 o.JssG Oppex&*tm,Ct)ln 

derm 1801-185& v. 

J o h c n a &18C3-1875 D 

Sllsabet kl8C6-1355 E 
Albert 1809-1872 I 

12.1838-1904 f 

I 1866 F:Mele Trler^ 
Karl JsJtoi 2594 
Ernst Berrih*18$6 
,2>ors 2900 

1867-99?:B*ne Ic to. Bsxberffer, Berl In 
1868-91 -:- 

w 2529- v.Ech+Alt*tadt,reuxnach "> 



1873 

11.1874 



1575"- ' : ' '.'+' 



258 

1575 ^v 



'&?. -' - 




4 



1878 
Adolf 1644 

Albert 1876 *'' 

-' jfcri 1878 .> . .'/;; . ;^.. ;;/,. 

B U 1 1520-1569 

Jferttn JTorttx 1541 
Jfc.1575 



'- . 



SUgen Z*rl 190$ . 
Selene Jul.1910 

' * "* 

ff^ory August 1878 
Martin mcr.1908 
Josef. 1545-59 

jtofttst 1845-&3 / 

^r?i^t Josef 1885 

* 

fcrl J>onJul557 

/ " 

J cr TI r 7i a 3 1812-1887 r:X*tharl?xi Schneider, W 

Ros* 1352 

ATBt* 1854 

Jds 1855 

. 

LetartL 1858 



Axallf 1864 

? a si s o n 1515-P5 (3en 



Mtrtln Samson 1852 

".-.{> .'..' 

1854 



Flen 1356 - , f _ -;:;. ,-.?-- J? 

Jult* 1358 .:.^- 

* -i.' i 






Jft&cr 




Cler* 

Leon 

Sclta. Dorothy 



jf a: t fe t 






J 9 r * 1 



Szthtcs 



Etlcne 
ELI* 



Lclf 



1895 



~' 



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1875- o.Berh+Ileln 

1 * ' 

1877-1922V+ JosefRo3*7ible 1 1 

ZQTtc 
1879rI922o.Aron Rosenblatt 

1879- 9 



2881- F:Berta 



1920 
2882 
, 2925 
** 292$ 

**'j. '9'' 



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- .y,^c. .,; ^jtej^ 



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Jfcfrofr 



if TTTU9" 



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JT&rttr 



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S.F. 



>. 5.7.2547 -jr 



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1828-1880 
1860 / 

1861-1930 



1832-1888 



Ise 



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Ssru. 



ijJJ-aoii/urt 
v.Sttltngrr, 



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Scbopfl 



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^'J, Jirttt A. " 



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261 



.Sr.-l'KjVT. 



Msafred (Moses) 



X t e 1 
Abraham 

K 9 1 * 

J f * """ : 



*5. 1802^ 
12.4.1804 



' 




9 Buchau 
r Qppenkeimer t 



J e r m s 

_ \ 

S e it I e 
T 6 g e I 9 
4 6 r a h < 
Wolf 



' -u ~ * 

*; V-'JL- 



1763-1817P:Gi*thel- 1770-1644 

1 799 9. Merger,C8then 

1801 '. '''' 

1803 l 

1808 Ttzcb Auerb&ch 9ersog 



Eelxrieh 
Sttthsn 



Berts. 



A a * 
& s t 



* n 






-i . . 

,^:-7- 







S n 1 e 




J s- r 9. 9 ._ , ;^v-^. 

A If r a It s x 1806 nsch Hamburg Pf 

""** ""*"" "** *"*'* ' " ^*w^y 

J s r a * 2 2509 

ff'f* t ft I 2522-2535 3 

5" ff n i 9 l(Ssraichen) 1812 v.Xoschland. 

Br e I * 1 * IMS 

S a x u e 1 1816-1880 

1849 o.Jas.i 

1850-1903 P:Eetty 

Sllaai 1856-1911 gest.ln 

(Plttsburfflt57-1927r:3osa Hesst 



Jrtte 
J*tt* 

Bert* - ' ' . 1362 

p&ullne . 1864-1 

Z t e r 1 9 ' 1819-18& 

Batch* / M20 

L oM*x* 1322 



. . . . 



/ - > -- -- "' ,. 

. ;->';'- >_-/-. 



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.%r^-..' ;:,': : ^Sv:^^ ' ! ^' ; -/ 
-* ' - , v f -- a *=; ;, % -i ' - 




264 



June 11, 1956 



Mr. Israel Koschland 
72 Old Pond Road 
Great Neck, New Tork 

Dear Mr. Koschland t 

I hare your letter of June 3 and of course 
vas greatly interested in your remarks about the 
Kosh lands and the family tree. 

I am a grandson of Simon Koshland vho lived 
in San Francisco for many years and vho vas engaged 
in the vool business. One of his children, Mr. 
Jesse Koshla-'d, lire a in this city and is the only 
living member of that generation. Tou are correct 
in stating that Adolph Koshland is still alive - he 
lives in Italy. Be and his late brother, Max 
Koshland, vere cousins of my father vho vas Marcus 
S. Koshland. 

I should be interested to hear more about 
your family, as there is no doubt that ve are related 
and, of course, the name is so unusual that one is in- 
elided to believe that all Koshlands are related. I 
myself am 64 years old nov and have several children 
and many grandchildren, some of vhom live in the Nev 
Tork area. 

Thank you again. 

Sincerely yours, 



Daniel E. Koshland 
DEICin 



265 

ISRAEL KOSCHLAND 
72 OLD POND ROAD 
GREAT NECK, N. Y. 



7/15/56 



Dear 1'r. Koshland, 



I apologize for letting you wait so long 
for an answer to^uoyr nice letter of the 
18th of June .which gave me much pleasure 
to know thet there are still people in the 
familiy.who are interested in the familiy 
tree.De facto all K' sare descending from 
one man. 

Abraham-ben-Isrs el-ben Mayer who came about 
1745, during the persecution of the Jews of 
Bohemia under the reign of ttria Theresa 
from Hozlan a small town of the suburb of 
Prague to Ichenhausen (Bavaria) .He must have 
been a very respected man, as he is named espec 
ially in the memory book of the community 
which happwned rsther seldom at the time, 
he was prominent for his charitable works . 
About the latter part of th eighteenth cen 
tury the Jews in Germany had to take offi 
cially a family name a great part took the 
name of their profession or home town by 
adding "er"to the name of the town(Franic- 
furt Frankfurter, Guggenheim. .er.Sulzberg. .e- 

a. s.o .but he added only a"d"to his town 
name in order to make it more German and 
so he called himself Koshland. 
Ee died 1796 and lejft 6 sons, from whom 



266 



descended the six lines 

ISrael Nathan Llayer Llathias Moses HefLLe 
1755-1840 1764-1833 

I give you only the detail^ of Ho.l that is 
yaur line and Ho. 4 the line of your Great-grand 
mother, also my line. 

I think these are the most interesting data 
for you. If you like to know some more please 
ask me . 

I a till remember very well when my grand 
father told me about the unolr- Gedalysh the Jewish 
name of Daniel and his aunt Hi el whp had sup 
posedly 24 children, many died in, their teens. 

If you ever come to this area, I would be rery 
heppy to meet you. I am living with my daughter 
Mrs Paul Kayer at the above adress and if you ever 
like to call me up phonr GR2-1304. 



Sincerely yours 





267 



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276 




July 19, 1956 



M r . Israel Koschland 
72 Old Pond Road 
Great Neck, New York 

Dear Mr. Koschlandt 

Thank you very much for your letter of 
A.I.- ic*v T+ 4 verv fascinating to read o 

Trie 



generation has known. I shall tell the .embers of 
the family here. 

You may be sure that I will get in touch with 
you the next tiae that I a. in New York - Probably in 
the fall - and in the meantime send my very best re 
gards. 

Sincerely yours, 



Daniel E. Koshland 



DEKjn 



APPENDIX B 



277 



ROBERT J. KOSHLAND - Family Information 
corrected 10/28/82 



Margaret Koshland Arnold, daughter 



Robert K. Arnold 



Kirk Robert Arnold, grandson 



Keven A. Madvig, granddaughter 



Philip R. Madvig 



Michael Robert Arnold, grandson 



Lucy Heyneman Arnold 



born 12/17/23 

University of California, Berkeley '43 BA 

University of Pacific '72 MS 

married Robert K. Arnold 3/24/45 

born 2/20/24 

University of California, Berkeley '47 BA 

' 61 PhD 

born 3/23/48 

College of San Mateo '71 AA 

born 1/18/50 

University of California, Santa Cruz '71 BA 

married Philip R. Madvig 7/8/72 

born 3/23/50 

University of California, Santa Cruz BA '72 

University of California, Berkeley '75 MS 

University of California, Los Angeles MD '79 

born 7/26/53 

University of California, Santa Cruz BA '76 
University of California, Berkeley '81 MS 
University of California, Berkeley '82 PhD 
married Lucy Heyneman 

born 2/24/54 

University of California, Santa Cruz BA '76 



Susan Koshland Thede, daughter 



Robert H. Thede 



David Martin Thede, grandson 



Kerry Hodge Thede 



born 6/17/28 

Stanford University '50 BA 

married Robert H. Thede 12/18/49 

born 6/24/25 

Stanford University '49 BA 

LIB Stanford Law School '51 

born 2/20/52 

Stanford University '74 BA 
Boalt Law School '77 JD 
married Kerry Hodge 4/19/80 

born 4/9/56 

University of California, Los Angeles, '78 BA 



278 



Nancy Anne Favreau, granddaughter 



Richard P. Favreau 



Lisa Anne Favreau, great grand 
daughter 

Suzanne Thede Johanson, grand 
daughter 



Charles V. Johanson 



Cortney Reid Johanson, great- 
granddaughter 



born 7/22/53 

University of California, Davis '75 BS 

California State University, Sacramento 

Teaching Credential '76 
married Richard Favreau 6/26/76 

born 10/9/51 

University of California, Davis '75 BS 

born 5/13/81 



born 8/20/54 

University of Utah '76 BS 

Teaching Credential from Westminister 
College, Salt Lake City '78 

married Charles Johanson 1/21/78 

born 9/24/51 

University of Utah '74 BS 

born 4/7/81 



Robert M. Koshland, son 



Mabel Cardiff Koshland 



born 4/22/22 

University of California, Berkeley '43 BA 

deceased, 9/15/72 

married Mabel Cardiff 11/26/46 

born 2/15/21 



Diane Wallace Koshland, granddaughter born 2/11/52 

California State University, Hayward '83 BS 

Lynn Marie Koshland, granddaughter born 9/2/53 

University of Utah, '74 BA 
Wellesley University MS (in progress) 



Scott M. Koshland, grandson 



born 2/16/62 

University of California, Berkeley '84 BS 



APPENDIX C 



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political sub-divisions of the State 
of a District by an election of the i 


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far as possible, establish such rates 
: operated upon a self-supporting 


ve the power of levying taxes aga 
ir District up to twenty cents (2i 
per annum for maintenance and o 
y not be used for the construction ol 
greater than a $50,000.00 total over 
pecific approval of the voters of the 


ly not have a bonded indebtedness 
valuation of the District. 


ay issue bonds for construction, u 
joriry of those voters balloting at an 
ch bonds are considered to be tax 
: amortized by regular assessments w 
jumls are redeemed. 


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of voters in a given g 
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i made by unofficial 
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necessary ot determine 
which the community 
,6, the program should 
the Architect. 


party (Consultant) is 
immunity and Medical 
esult in the uneconomic 
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SURVEY 


The establishment of a nev 


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Tlie Bureau of Hospitals 
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PROGRAM AND CC 


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wise requires expert assistai 
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Treasurer's report 






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he Association of California Hospital Districts, 
its Secretary Mrs. Marion C. Ibach, 23 Mesa 
', California. The Association will gladly have 
et with you and offer you assistance. 


:he California Hospital Association, 760 Market 
D 2, California. 


the local medical organization (s) which it is 
present physicians who will practice in the 
t appointment of an advisory committee. 


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ORGANIZAT 


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Establish its own 
a. Call to order 
b. Consideration c 


c. Reports, includi 
d. Correspondence 
e. Old business 


f. Petitions 
g. New business 


h. Claims 
i. Adjournment 


_e 
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Act. These can b 
Department of Pi 
fornia. 


. Communicate wit 
Inc., by addressin 
Avenue, Mill Va 


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. Communicate wii 
Street, San Franc 


!. Communicate wi 
anticipated will 
hospital, and reqi 



283 



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Construction Program has limited 
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lospitals, California State Depart- 
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and equipment of a ni 
tenses directly related 
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from the moment of it 
secretarial service, pul 
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NANCING 


le the costs of construction 
ding those pre-opening exp 
's operation, will be met fron 
nses incurred by the District 
e include Attorney's fees, 
notices, expenses incurred : 


The Local Hospital District 
i permissive tax of twenty 


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PITAL SURVEY AND CONSTRI 
ia, Federal and State funds 
ey and Construction Progn 
iing hospitals. This progran 
ment of Public Health. Fund 
rculosis hospitals, mental h 
lie health centers, nursing 
ers, and rehabilitation facil 
ram are grants which are m 


a maximum of one-third of 


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RAL OBSERVATIONS 


Hospital in operation is very much 'like a voluntary 
and should function in like manner. To maintain equiva- 


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'ow. It is, therefore, important that no contrary statements 
ade. 


appointment of the Medical Staff is inadvisable. Make 


;es or commitments to any medical persons or groups 
oper procedure has been established. 


t'car prior to the anticipated opening of the hospital is 
e for the Board to appoint a small committee of out- 
octors to prepare and recommend the Medical By-laws, 
these have been adopted should consideration be given 
ments to the Medical Staff. 


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services it provides, is a valuable 


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he leaders of existing Auxiliaries. 


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be made to see them in operation 
:ommitments. 


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A simple resolution establishing 


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mpt protections. 


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Auxiliary when the hospital opens, 
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289 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 



A. Laws Relating to Hospital Districts. 
(State Department of Public Health.) 

B. Essential Factors in Determining Community Hospital Require 
ments. 

(Bureau of Hospitals, California Department of Public Health, 
February, 1955.) 

C. Cost Estimating Procedures. 

(State Department of Public Health, Bureau of Hospitals, July, 
1957.) 

D. California Hospital Survey and Construction Program. 
(State Department of Public Health, October 22, 1957.) 



20 



APPENDIX D 



290 



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FOREWORD 


ACKNOWLEDGMENT . 


MEETING THE NEED FO 


A Preliminary Steps 


B Study and Decision 


J 

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D Sub-Committees . 


E General Observatioi 


DIRECTORY OF HOSPITJ 


BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . 


THE ASSOCIATION OF 
CALIFORNIA HOSPITA 


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gested Agenda for the Organization 


Narration of historical background o 


lecommendation of original group 
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Affirmation of this recommendatior 
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Affirmation by the County Health Of 


tatements by key public officials, sue 
( 1 ) Chairman of the County Board 


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itatements by selected important cc 
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Vuthorization to Executive Commit 
leemed necessary for the success of 


is recommended that no action be 
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: (21) Hospital Districts indicated the 


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There have been instances when the p 
considered multiple use of the District fac 
utilization of District property by a County 
a Medical Society, or an ambulance service. 


While there may be value in permitt 
some places, decision on these matters can or 
study of many factors. These considerations 
of the District Board of Directors, and thei 
be made by those whose sole responsibility i 
District. 


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viduals is the prerogative of the Supervisors, 


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experience, and not as representatives of pai 
This statement cannot be over-emphasized. 


It is furthermore desirable that the B 
balance as to life experience and age. Recog 
siderations is desirable. But, with the five (5) 
merit must be the overriding factor. 


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.iblicity program and its estimated 
ly as possible to the Executive ( 


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iry funds. Some assistance here nu 
af the advertising underwritten b] 


:ommittee should take action pur 


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ling signatures of registered voter 
fteen percent ( 15% ) of the total 
ibernatorial election by voters res 


of the proposed District, be preser 
supervising authority of the Cou 


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:res over the minimum requireme 
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RAL OBSERVATIONS 


f Election 


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the community calendar so as to a 
of major community interest. 


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DIRECTORY 



299 
APPENDIX 1 

OF HOSPITAL DISTRICTS IN 



NAME OF DISTRICT 
NAME OF HOSPITAL 

ATI. A LOCAL, 1946 
Alia Local District, 1951 

ANTELOPE VALLEY, 1953 
Antelope Valley, 79.5.5 

A VENAL, 1948 
Arenaf District, 1951 

BLOSS MEMORIAL, 1958 

Inactive 

CAMBRIA COMMUNITY, 1947 
Inactive 

CHOWCHILLA MEMORIAL, 1948 
Chowchilla District Memorial, 1957 

COALING A, 1946 
Coalinga District, 1947 

CONCORD, 1948 
Concord Community, 1952 

CORCORAN, 1951 
Corcoran District, 1951 

CORNING, 1946 
Corning Memorial, 1952 

DEL NORTE COUNTY LOCAL, 1946 
Seaside, 1946 



JUNE 1, 1959 



County 

Tulare 

Los Angeles 

King 

Merced 



Hospital Address 

500 Adelaide Way 
Dinuba 

1600 West Avenue J 
Lancaster 

P. O. Box 4357 
Avenual 

P. O. Box 517 
Arwater 



San Luis Obispo Cambria 



Madera 
Fresno 

Contra Costa 
Kings 
Tehama 
Del None 



1 104 Ventura Avenue 
Chowchilla, P. O. Box 1027 

Washington & Sunset Sts. 
Coalinga, P. O. Box 634 

2540 East Street 
Concord 

1310 Hanna Avenue 
Corcoran 

Solano & Marguerite Ave. 
P. O. Box 617, Corning 

100 'A' Street 
Crescent City 

18 



CALIFORNIA 



Licensed 

Hospital Number 

Telephone of Bed$ 



Dinuba 1106 
Whitehall 8-4577 
A venal 278 



Ingersoll 4-3131 



51 
86 
30 
20 P 



Map C 

Reference 

Number 



Montrose 5-3781 19 
Wells 5-205 1 40 

Mulberry 2-8200 61 + 33 UC 
Wyman 2-3124 
Taylor 4-5451 



23 
31 
51 



AME OF DISTRICT 

AME OF HOSPITAL 

ESERT, 1948 
Men, 1951 

>EN TOWNSHIP, 1948 
en, 1954 

CAMINO, 1956 
Camino, Inactive 

LLBROOK, 1950 
'Ibrook, 1952 

ATHER RIVER, 1953 
ther River District, 1956 

.OSSMONT, 1952 
>ssmont, 1955 

FFERNAN MEMORIAL 

ctive 

MET VALLEY, 1946 
net. Valley, 1946 

iN C. FREMONT, 1947 
n C. Fremont, 1951 

iDSAY LOCAL, 1958 
isay District, 1958 

1POC, 1946 
'poc, 1946 

R.IN COUNTY, 1946 
in General, 1952 

R.K TWAIN, 1946 
4 Twain, 1951 



DIRECTORY OF HOSPITAL DISTRICTS IN CALIFORNIA (Confd) 



County 

Riverside 
Alameda 
Santa Clara 
San Diego 
Plumas 
San Diego 
Imperial 
Riverside 

Mariposa 

Tulare 

Santa Barbara 

Marin 

Calaveras 



Hospital Address 

1151 N. Via Miraleste 
Palm Springs, P. O. Box EE 

20103 Lake Chabot Road 
Castro Valley 

2500 Grant Road 
Mountain View 

331 S. Main Street 
Fallbrook 

1 74 Hot Springs Road 
Greenville 

P.O. Box 158 
La Mesa 



P. O. Mox 457 
Hemet 

P. O. Box R 

Mariposa 

P. O. Box 1297 
Lindsay 

300 South 'D' Street 
Lompoc 

250 Bon Air Road 
San Rafael 

San Andreas 

19 



Hospital 
Telephone 


Licensed Map C 
Number Reference 
of Beds Number 


Fairview 4-1417 


64 


48 


Jefferson 7-1234 


254 


19 


Yorkshire 8-8111 


307 UC 


17 


Randolph 8-1419 


10+ 10 P 


52 


Butler 4-2581 


14 


3 


Hopkins 9-6111 


HI + 134 UC 


54 


Olive 8-3267 


56 


55 

46 


Mariposa 2401 


24 


24 


Lindsay 2-2055 


29 


28 


Lompoc 2165 


52 


41 


Glen wood 3-3110 


126 


14 


Skyline 4-3521 


89*. 


8 



300 



DIRECTORY OF HOSPITAL DISTRICTS IN CALIFORNIA (Confd) 



NAME OF DISTRICT CD 

NAME OF HOSPITAL 

NORTHERN INYO COUNTY LOCAL, 1946 
Northern Inyo, 1949 

NORTHERN SAN DIEGO COUNTY, 1948 
Escondido, 19)0 

NORWALK. 1953 

Inactive 

OJAI VALLEY, 1958 
Inactive 

PALO VERDE, 1948 t 
Palo Verde, 

PASO ROBLES WAR MEMORIAL, 1946 
Paso Robles War Memorial District, 19)0 

PATTERSON, 1948 
Del Puerto, 19)0 

PENINSULA, 1947 
Peninsula, 19)4 

PET ALUM A, 1946 
Hillcrest, 19)7 

PIONEERS MEMORIAL, 1947 
Pioneers Memorial, 19)0 

PITTSBURG COMMUNITY, 1948 
Pittsburg Community, 1948 

PLUMAS, 1955 
Plumas District, 19)9 

SALINAS VALLEY MEMORIAL, 1947 
Salinai Valley Memorial, 19)3 



County 


Hospital Address 


Hospital 
Telephone 


Inyo 


Sunland & Line Sts., Box 1017 
Bishop 


Bishop 446; 


San Diego 
Los Angeles 


550 East Grand Avenue 
Escondido 


Sherwood 5 
University 4 


Ventura 


P. O. Box 783 


Milton 6-3C 


Riverside 


250 North First Street 
P. O. Box 877, Blythe 


Blythe 3531 



Licensed Map C 
Number Referen 

of Beds Number 



15th Street, Extended 
San Luis Obispo Paso Robles, P. O. Box 367 

P. O. Box 458 
Stanislaus Patterson 

1783 El Camino Real 
San Mateo Burlingame 

Hayes St. & El Rose Drive 
Sonoma Petaluma 

Route 1, Box 70 
Imperial Brawley 

550 School Street 
Contra Costa Pittsburg 

Meadow Valley Road 
Plumas Quincy 

450 E. Romie Lane 
Monterey Salinas 

20 



31 
) 

5 

Paso Robles 1200 
Tyler 2-2941 
Oxford 7-4061 
Porter 2-2706 
Fieidbrook 4-2120 80 
Hempstead 2-2941 103 
Quincy 265 25 

Harrison 4-2251 150 



32 
25 

218 4- 158 UC 
52 



NAME OF DISTRICT 

NAME OF HOSPITAL 

SAN BENITO, 1958 
Hazel Hawkins Memorial, 1 

SAN GORGONIO PASS . 

San Gorgonio Pass Memorial, 19)1 

SENECA, 1947 
Seneca, 19)2 

SEQUOIA, 1947 
Sequoia, 19)0 

SIERRA VALLEY, 1946 
Sierra Valley District, 19)1 

SIERRA VIEW LOCAL, 1949 
Sierra View District, 19)8 



^OLEDAD COMMUNITY, 1948 
Inactive 

SONOMA VALLEY, 1946 
Sonoma Valley, 1948 

SOUTH BAY, 1955 
South Bay District 

SOUTHERN INYO COUN 
Southern Inyo County, 19)) 

TAHOE FOREST, 1949 
Tahoe, 19)2 

TEHACHAPI VALLEY, 1949 
Inactive 

TRI-CITY, 1957 
Tri-City 



DIRECTORY OF HOSPITAL 

County 


DISTRICTS IN CALIFORNIA (Confd) 

Hospital 
Hospital Address Telephone 


Licensed Map C 
Number Reference 
of Beds Number 




916 Monterey Street 








?58 San Benito 


Hollister 


Mercury 7-3741 


25 


34 


IEMORIAL, 1947 


Highland Springs Road 








', 19)1 Riverside 


Banning 


Victor 5-1121 


46 


47 




P. O. Box 608 








Plumas 


Chester 


Alpine 8-4501 


14 


2 




Whipple & Alameda 








San Mateo 


Redwood City 


Emerson 9-1411 


208+ 135 UC 


16 


i 


P. O. Box 818 








Sierra 


Loyal ton 


Wyman 3-4412 


10 


6 


949 


711 W. Putman Avenue 








Tulare 


Porterville 


Sunset 4-1110 


40 


27 


1948 










Monterey 








36 




348 Andrieux Street 






J*J 


Sonoma 


Sonoma 


Webster 8-4786 


34 


12 




514 N. Prospect Avenue 








Los Angeles 


Redondo Beach 


Frontier 2-1121 


149 UC 


44 


TY LOCAL, 1949 


501 East Locust Street 








Inyo 


P. O. Box 236, Lone Pine 


Lone Pine 2191 


18 


26 




P. O. Box 1345 








Nevada 
'49 


Truckee 


Luther 7-3541 


21 


7 


Kern 








40 




580 Elm Avenue 








San Diego 


Carlsbad 


Parkways 9-1167 


87 P 


53 




21 









301 



11 

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x S ~ s 
52 S s 
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S 2 11 3 

3 Q v2 K 

SB _ ~ ,y 

5 .S <j 3 

s c 


District Hospital 
lia Hospital Districts, Inc. 


vey and Construction. Program 
ublic Health, 


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DIRECTORY 

NAME OF DISTRICT 

NAME OF HOSPITAL 

TULARE LOCAL, 1946 
Tulart District, 1951 

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, 1948 
Washington Tou-nship, 1958 

WEST CONTRA COSTA, 1948 

Brookside, 1954 

WEST SIDE COMMUNITY, 1957 
West Side Community, 1957 

WEST SIDE, 1947 


OF HOSPITAL 

County 

Tulare 
Alameda 
Contra Costa 
Merced 




DISTRICTS IN CALIFORNIA (Confd) 

H. n ;.i Licensed 
Hospital Address y^'none ffgf 

869 Cherry Avenue 
Tulare Murdock 6-4724 74 
2000 Mowry Avenue 

Fremont Sycamore 7-1 111 157 
2000 Vale Road 

San Pabl Beacon 5-7000 246 

u -. Bo * B UIrich4-3726 
Gustine Newman 2951 18 


Map C 
Reference 
Number 

30 
18 
11 

71 


West Side District, 1947 


Kern 




110 East North Street 
Taft 


Roger 5-2184 48 


&L 

39 



CD. 



t. 

UC 
P. Planning. 

Number of hospitals in operation 45 

Number of hospitals under construction 2 

Number of hospitals in planning stage. 2 

Number of districts operating clinic and ambulance service.".. 1 

Number of districts active only as equipment lessors 

Number of inactive districts 

Total number of districts '. _ _ 5-5 



LEGEND 

i ear of District Formation. 

Year District assumed operation. 

Projects which have received Survey and Construction Program funds (Total 3 n 

Includes 30 general and 59 chronic beds. )- 



Number of hospital additions under construction 
Number of hospital additions in planning stage 
Number of hosp.tal beds in operation... 
Number of hospital beds under construction 
Number of hospital beds in planning stage 



5 

.... 2 
....2969 
.... 981 
.... 203 



22 



302 



APPENDIX 3 

THE ASSOCIATION OF CALIFORNIA 
HOSPITAL DISTRICTS, INC. 

Following the enactment of the Hospital District Law in 1945, 
several Hospital Districts were established. As of June 1959 there was 
a total of fifty-five. The uniqueness of this district type of hospital, 
which presented certain experiences and problems quite distinct from 
proprietary and voluntary hospitals, prompted the organization of the 
Association of California Hosital District Directors, Inc., in 1945. (The 
name was changed in 1956 by dropping the word "Directors" in its 
ride.) 

All Hospital Districts are eligible for Association membership, 
which is not intended to conflict with the purposes and goals of the 
California Hospital Association. As a matter of fact, each of them is at 
this writing a member of the latter Association. There is, however, a 
basic difference in the controls of these two Associations. The Board 
of Trustees of the California Hospital Association is composed entirely 
of hospital administrators, whereas the Board of Directors of the 
Association of California Hospital Districts is made up only of District 
directors. 

Most Board Members at the time of taking office are without prior 
hospital experience. To serve effectively they must learn "on the job". 
This Association can be helpful to them by means of its activities, 
including conferences wherein programs and problems are discussed. 

The District Association's activities are mainly concentrated on 
those matters which are unique to Hospital Districts. These may 
include such considerations as policies, public relations and legislation. 
The record to date has fully justified th_- Association's existence. 
Through its activities, policies have been given direction and State 
legislation has been both initiated and influenced in order to improve 
the local Hospital District Law. As in other fields of human endeavor 
and interest, continued activity in these areas is necessary. 

MAPS 

(inside back cover) 

A. Hospital Service Areas, State of California. 

B. Hospital Service Areas, County of Los Angeles. 

C. Hospital Districts in California. 

24 



303 



INDEX Robert J. Koshland 



Ackerman, Lloyd, Jr., 112 

Adams, Maude, 10 

American Hospital Association, 161 

American Jewish Committee, 90 

American Red Cross. See Robert J. Koshland: volunteer career; wife, Delphine 

American Woolen Company. See Robert J. Koshland: business career, selling in New 

England and Philadelphia 
Anderson, Dr. William, 169 
Association of California Hospital Districts, 199-201. See also Robert J. 

Koshland: volunteer activities 



Bache, Harold, 51, 62 

Barrows, David, 12, 42 

Bay Area Health Facilities Planning Association. See Robert J. Koshland: 

volunteer career 

Bay Area Social Planning Council. See Robert J. Koshland: volunteer career 
Beresford Country Club, 89, 207 
Berk, Mark, 170, 203, 231 
Black, Shirley Temple, 120-121, 180 
Blumberg, Mark, 168, 177-178 
Brownstein, Louis, 155-157 

California Hospital Association. See Robert J. Koshland: volunteer career 

California Medical Association, 200, 202 

Carr, Luther, 146 

Chennault, General Claire, 103-106 

Cheseborough, Helen, 142 

Chiang Kai-shek, General and Madam Chiang, Mei-ling, 107-108, 118-119, 125-126 

Child Welfare League, 141-142 

Children's Home Society of California, 183 

China Air Service. See Robert J. Koshland: military career, World War II 

Chinese Army. See Robert J. Koshland: military career, World War II 

College of the Pacific, 169 

Commonwealth Club of California, 209-210 

Comprehensive Health Planning Association. See Robert J. Koshland: volunteer 

career 
Concordia Club, 157, 208 



304 



Davis, George, 149 

DeMarche, David, 184, 192 

Depression. See Robert J. Koshland: business career, Depression 

Draper, Murray, 209 



Ehrman, Herbert (Brute) , 90 
Erickson, Richard, 205 
Eureka Benevolent Society, 6 



Fazackerly, Donald, 160 

Federation of Jewish Charties, Boston, 

Fine, Rabbi Alvin, 112-114 

Foerster, Roland, 38 

Friedman, Sidney, 154 



Garden, Hospital, 7 
Geary Theater, 10 
Greenberg, Stuart, 155, 156 



Haber, William, 17 

Ham, Roswell, 39 

Hebrew Home. See Robert J. Koshland: volunteer career 

Heller, Walter, 137, 203 

Hellman, Ruth Koshland, 124 

Hexter, Maurice, 130, 152 

Hill-Burton Act, 146, 148, 162 

Hoag, Dr. Carl, 149, 152, 201 

Home for Incurables, 7 

Home Society. See Robert J. Koshland: volunteer career 

Homewood Terrace. See Robert J. Koshland: volunteer career 

Hood, General Robin, 104 



Ibach, Marian, 175 
Imus, Howard, 149, 152 
Israel, 14 



Jacobs, Jean (Mrs. Tevis), 141 
Jews: 

American, World War II, China, 113 

Eastern European, 14-17 

German, 4, 16 

Polish, 14 

Russian, 14 



305 



Jewish Community, 220, 221 

Jewish Home for the Aged. See Robert J. Koshland: volunteer career 

Jewish Welfare Federation, 186, 221. See also Robert J. Koshland: volunteer 

career 

Jewish Welfare Fund. See Robert J. Koshland: volunteer career 
Joint Commission on Accreditation (medico-administrative) , 201 

Kahn, Julius, 23, 32 
Kaplan, Kyman, 17, 136, 137, 152 
King, Kenneth, 180 
Kirstein, Louis, 130 
Koshland, Jr., Dr. Daniel, 232 
Koshland, Edith, 124 
Koshland, Robert J.: 
athletics, 11, 64-67 

attitudes. See also Robert J. Koshland: personal views 
assimilation, 34 
intermarriage, 16 
temple membership, 18 

business career: J. Koshland and Company, Boston, 48-50 
apprenticeship, 52-54 
Depression, 61-62 
partnership, 60, 80-81, 85 
police strike, Boston, 196-198 
selling, 58-59 

S.J. Koshland, San Francisco, 63-64 
wool buying, 54-57 
business ventures, 94-95, 121-122 
Depression, 121-123 
Market Realty Corporation, 95 

childhood and youth, 6-9, 12-15, 23-32, 35, 36 
athletics, 11-12, 34, 43-44 
education: 

Lowell High School, 20, 24, 28, 36-37 
Pacific Heights School, 11, 28-30 
Secretary, Class of 1914, 212 

University of California, Berkeley, 11-12, 33-34, 38-47, 95 
Alumni Council, 205-206 
Beta Gamma Signa, 44 
Big jC Society, 210-211 
Circle C_, 44 

College of Commerce Club, 44 

School of Public Health Graduate Division, 172-173 
swim team, 34, 4344 
friends , 11 

home life, 7-13, 23-27, 30 
household staff, 7, 8, 25, 26 
Jewish background, 10, 14 
San Francisco Earthquake, 1906, 26-27 
travel, 2-23, 27, 50-52 



306 



values, 6-7 

expectations and values, 227-228 

family, 217-219. See also Appendix A, Appendix B 
aunts 

Caroline Koshland Greenebaum, 3 

Fanny Koshland Haas, 3 

Nettie Koshland Sinsheimer, 3 
brother, Daniel E. Koshland, Sr,, 8, 12, 23, 38, 40-44, 51, 61-62, 69, 

77, 113, 127 

oral history, 61-62 
children, 225-237 

Margaret Koshland Arnold, 88, 92, 112, 226 

Robert M. Koshland, Jr., 88, 92, 111-112, 225, 228 

Susan Koshland Thede, 92, 226-227 
children's spouses, 235, 236 

Robert Arnold, 111-112, 226 

Mabel Cardiff (Mrs. Robert) Koshland, Jr., 231 

Robert Thede, 226 
cousins 

Walter Haas, Sr., 3, 23 

Edgar Sinton, 3, 19, 23, 242 

Stanley Sinton, Sr., 3, 64-65, 86-87, 242 
grandchildren and great grandchildren, 235-236 

Kirk Arnold, 226 

Michael Arnold, 226 On. Lucy Heyneman) 

David Thede, 226 (m. Kerry Dodge) 

Scott M. Koshland, 232 

Lisa Favreau, 226-227 

Nancy Thede (Mrs. Richard) Favreau, 226-227 

Keven Arnold Madvig, 226 

Cortney R. Johanson, 226-227 

Suzanne Thede (Mrs. Charles) Johanson, 226-227 
grandparents, 26-27 

Rosina Frauenthal Koshland, 5 

Simon Koshland, 4-5, 18-19, 48-50 

Bernhard and Rebecca Schweitzer, 5, 6 
great uncles 

Max and Nathan Koshland, 4 

Jewish activities, 2 
nephew 

Dr. Daniel Koshland, Jr., 232 
parents, 217 

father, Marcus Koshland, 6, 14, 63-64 

mother, Corrine Schweitzer Koshland, 6-10, 12-14, 32-33, 89, 127, 217 
San Francisco Opera Association, 7 
San Francisco Symphony Association, 7 
sister 

Margaret Helen Sloss (Mrs. Louis E.), 16, 28, 127 



307 



uncles, 1, 234-235 
Abraham Haas , 3 
Abraham, 1-2, 62, 64-65 
Jesse, 1-2, 63-65, 124 
Joseph, 1-2 
Montefiore, 3 

wife, Delphine Rosenfeld Koshland, 81-82, 99, 236-237, 244-246 
cousin, Bennett Cerf, 245 
family, 244-246 

parents, Minnie Wise Rosenfeld and Charles Rosenfeld, 244 
University of California, Berkeley, 245 
volunteer activities, 245-246 

American Red Cross, San Mateo Chapter, 246 
Peninsula Hospital Auxiliary, 245 
Suicide Prevention and Crisis Center, 246 
Jewish life, Boston, 64-65 
marriage and family life, Boston, 81-88, 128 

Hillsborough, California, 88-93 
military career 

World War I, 50-51, 69-79, 115-116 
World War II, 7, 72-73, 76, 96 
Legion of Merit, 114-115 

Twelfth Air Service Group command, China, 100-118 
women in military, 123-125 
personal views, 215-224, 233, 237-241 
political, 119, 120 
publications, 161 

"Guide for Planning a District Hospital," 163, 167, 170. See also Appendix C 
"Meeting the Need for Hospital Beds," 167, 170. See also Appendix D 
volunteer career: 

Advisory Committee of the Harvard Cancer Commission, 128 

Advisory Council to State Commission on Aging, 204 

American Hospital Association, 164 

American Red Cross, San Mateo County, 142-143, 213-214 

Association of California Hospital Districts, 173-175, 199-201 

Bay Area Health Facilities Planning Association, 148, 167-169, 179-181 

Bay Area Social Planning Council, 184 

Bay Area Welfare Planning Federation, 176, 182, 18t, 216-217 

Boy Scouts of America, 129 

California Hospital Association, 163, 170-171, 200-201 

California Council for Social Work, 136 

Children's Home Society of California, 183 

Community Chest of San Mateo County, 153 

Community Council of San Mateo County, 175 

Comprehensive Health Planning Association, 148, 181 

Concordia Club, 208 

disappointments, 219-220 

Distribution Committee, San Mateo Foundation, 185 

Federation of Jewish Charities, 136 



308 



Health Systems Agency, 148, 181, 182 

Hillsborough School Foundation, 211 

Homewood Terrace (Home Society), 6, 141-142 

Jewish Home for the Aged (Home for Disabled Jews) , 153-156 

Jewish Welfare Federation, 15, 138, 177-178 

Boston, 15, 130 

San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin Counties, 15-16, 137-138 
Jewish Welfare Fund, 137, 143 
Military Order of the World War, 135-136 
Mt. Zion Hospital study, 151, 157, 168, 177-178, 202-203 
National Assembly for Social Policy and Development Planning, 190-191 
National Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, 144-145 
Northern California Presbyterian Homes, 191-193 

Peninsula Golf and Country Club (Beresford Country Club), 89, 207-208 
Peninsula Hospital, 148-149, 160-162, 172-173, 201-202, 219 
Peninsula Hospital District, 146-147, 152 

Peninsula Hospital and Medical Center Foundation, Trustee, 206 
Presbyterian Hospital, 158-159, 165, 168, 181, 215 
Presbyterian Hospital Board of Directors, 158-161 
San Mateo County Commission on Aging, 193-195 
San Mateo County Unemployment Relief Administration, 131-135 
San Mateo Foundation, 185, 188-189 
Services for Seniors, 193 

State District Hospital Association, 163-164 
United Bay Area Crusade, 182 
United Way, 183 

West Bay Health Systems Agency, 181 
Western States Regional Council for Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, 

138-140 
Zionism, 222 



Lauritzen, John, 187 

Law, Harland and Herbert, 94 

Levi Strauss and Company, 225 

Lilienthal, Frances and Theodore, 11, 185 

Lilienthal, Jack, 11 

Lilienthal, Jesse Warren, Sr., 32 

Livingston, Lawrence, 39 

Lowell High School, 8 



Maule, Joshua, 149 
May, John, 185 
McCloskey, Pete, 120 
McEckearn, Dr., 163 
McLaren, Loyal, 37 
McLaughlin, Donald, 26, 38 
McMillian, Wayne, 176-177, 184 
Menuhin, Yehudi, 10 



309 



Meir, Julius, 140 

Mellon, Cula and Thomas, 193 

Merrill, Fred, 160, 165 

Meyer, Alfred, 11, 95 

Millard, Avery, 164 

Mills Hospital, 153 

Montieux, Pierre, 10 

Mt. Zion Hospital, 151, 221. See also Robert J. Koshland: volunteer career 



Nachtrieb, Harold, 38 

National Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds. See Robert J. 

Koshland: volunteer career 
Northern California Presbyterian Homes. See Robert J. Koshland: volunteer 

career 



O'Brien, Monsignor Timothy, 171, 180 
O'Connor, Michael, 149 

Pacific Hebrew Orphan Asylum, 6 

Paley, Martin, 121, 149, 167, 179-180 

Parker, Carleton, 12, 41, 45, 50, 62 

Peninsula Hospital, 221. See also Robert J. Koshland: volunteer career 

Peninsula Hospital District. See Robert J. Koshland: volunteer career 

Peninsula Golf and Country Club. See Robert J. Koshland: volunteer career 

Phleger, Herman, 51 

Presbyterian Hospital, 181. See also Robert J. Koshland: volunteer career 

Raphael, Morton, 121 
Ransohoff, James, 11 
Reichert, Rabbi Irving, 113 
Rosenbaum, Fred, 112, 220 

San Francisco Earthquake, 1906, 21, 26-27 

San Francisco Foundation, 149, 185, 188 

San Mateo County Commission on Aging. See Robert J. Koshland: volunteer career 

San Mateo Foundation. See Robert J. Koshland: volunteer caree 

Schaefer, Lester, 192 

Schilling, Libby, 171 

Schoolcraft, John, 39 

Selekman, Ben, 130 

Senger, J. Henry, 42 

Services for Seniors, 193 

Sinton, Mrs. Edgar, 35 

Sloss, Hattie, 32, 136 

Sloss, Louis, 11 



310 



Sloss, Judge Marcus, 32 

Sommer, Isadora, 39 

Somerville, Bill, 186, 189-190 

Spivey, Dr. B.E., 161, 163, 167 

Stanford Hospital, 167 

Stanford Research Institute. See Robert J. Koshland: volunteer career 

Mt. Zion Hospital study 

State District Hospital Association, 163-164 
Stern, Isaac, 10 
Stone and Youngberg, 121 
Sutro and Company, 95 

Taylor, Clotilde, 39 

Taylor, Dr. Keith, 172 

Temple Emanu-El, 6-7, 14, 18, 31, 113 

Thede, Robert, 226 

Thede, Susan Koshland. See Robert J. Koshland: family 

Treguboff, Sanford, 152 

United Bay Area Crusade. See Robert J. Koshland: volunteer career 

United Fund. See Robert J. Koshland: volunteer career 

United Way. See Robert J. Koshland: volunteer career 

United States Air Force. See J. Koshland: military career, World War II 

United States Air Service Command. See Robert J. Koshland: military career, 

World War II 
University of California, Berkeley, 33-34. See Robert J. Koshland: childhood, 

and youth; education; family, children, grandchildren, wife 

Van Vliet, Roy, 11, 95 
Vorenberg, Frank and Ida, 90 
Voorsanger, Rabbi Jay, 31-32 

WAAC. See Robert J. Koshland: military career, World War II, women, military 

WASP. See Robert J. Koshland: military career, World War II, women, military 

Weintraub, Louis, 152 

Wilbur, Bray ton and Dita, 96 

Walter, Isaac, 33 

Weaver, Jean, 94, 95 

wool (raw) business. See Robert J. Koshland: business career, J. Koshland 

and Company 

World War I. See Robert J. Koshland: military career, World War I 
World War II. See Robert J. Koshland: military career, World War II 

Younger, Arthur, 121 
Zellerbach, Harold, 113 



Elaine Dorfman 



Graduate of California State University at Hayward, B.A. in 
Sociology; Lone Mountain College M.A. in Sociology/with 
Communications . 

Wrote advertising copy for theater agency in San Francisco 
and wrote a monthly investigative column for a Richmond, 
California newspaper. 

Taught Sociology at Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill; 
culture and history of Chinese cooking in the Martinez 
Recreation Department; business communication, business law, 
and business English at Heald College, Walnut Creek. 

Instructor in oral history classes for the Peralta Community College. 
District at Vista College, Berkeley. Directs oral history program 
for the Western Jewish History Center, Judah Magnes Memorial 
Museum, Berkeley. Interviewer-editor for the Regional Oral 
History Office, University of California, Berkeley, in the 
Jewish Community Leaders series and areas of business and 
education. 



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